Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert and her Democratic challenger, Adam Frisch, are scheduled to face off in early September at a debate in Grand Junction, their campaigns confirmed, but Frisch, a former Aspen city council member, said he hopes the Republican incumbent agrees to additional meetings in the run-up to the November election.
On Monday, Frisch challenged Boebert to debate five times — in Grand Junction at Western Slope advocacy group Club 20's fall meeting, and in other cities throughout the sprawling 3rd Congressional District, including Pueblo, Alamosa, Durango and Rifle, where Boebert operated Shooters Grill until earlier this month when the gun-themed restaurant closed after losing its lease.
“I will debate Lauren Boebert anytime, anywhere, on any issue," Frisch said in a release.
Boebert's campaign told Colorado Politics in an email that the congresswoman has accepted and looks forward to attending the match-up at Club 20's meeting but didn't respond to an inquiry about scheduling additional debates.
"She also looks forward to winning this election in the fall so she can help fire Nancy Pelosi," the campaign said in the email.
Frisch told Colorado Politics he's happy to talk about any issue Boebert wants to discuss, including the Second Amendment and energy independence.
"I’m not surprised that she’s scared to debate me, to get in front of her voters," he said. "I think one of the core duties of a public elected official is to go talk to everybody, not just show up in the most friendly of places."
Club 20's 3rd CD debate takes place in the middle of a day of debates featuring legislative, statewide and congressional candidates running to represent parts of the Western Slope.
Traditionally, the meeting's debates have served as the unofficial kick-off to Colorado's fall campaign season, though in the past two election cycles several Democrats running in top-ticket races — including Jared Polis, making his successful run for governor in 2018, and John Hickenlooper, on the way to winning a U.S. Senate seat in 2020 — have skipped the debates.
Also in 2020, neither Boebert, who was seeking her first term, nor her Democratic opponent, former state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, showed up for the confab, with Mitsch Bush citing COVID safety concerns and Boebert declining to participate if she couldn't submit a prerecorded video answering questions provided in advance. The two didn't manage to schedule any other debates, and Boebert went on to win the Republican-leaning seat by about 6 percentage points.