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GOP Congressional candidates Boebert and Coram face off at a debate in southwest Colorado

Colorado Sen. Don Coram (L) and U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert participate in a GOP debate for Colorado's Third Congressional District. The debate was held on May 26, 2022 in Ignacio, Colorado.

Colorado Sen. Don Coram and U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert met at Ignacio's Sky Ute Casino Thursday for the first of two debates in their Congressional District 3 race ahead of Colorado's June 28 primary election.

A crowd of more than 150 people, many vocal Boebert supporters, attended the debate. A few crowd interjections happened during the forum, mostly moments of loud applause, cheering, and laughter that had to be contained by moderator Dave Woodruff.

The candidates touched on a variety of subjects, including inflation and drought. But the debate began on a somber note, coming just days after the school shootings in Uvalde, Texas. Boebert and Coram were asked what they would do to reduce mass shootings and, specifically, school shootings.

Ken Brott
The scene at the Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio, Colorado on May 26, 2022, during the GOP primary debate for Congressional District 3.

"This is something I've been advocating for for years," said Boebert. "That we need to be able to arm and protect ourselves. That moms need to be able to have a tool, an equalizer to protect their children. That our teachers need to be well-equipped and trained and certified to also protect our children."

Coram echoed her sentiments about what he called "hardening" schools.

"Our school buses and our schools are targets," said Coram. "There is technology available that's out there to prevent people from coming into these buildings. We need to use that."

The candidates didn't agree on much for long. Immigration became a particularly contentious issue in the debate. And there were plenty of personal attacks.

The next debate between Rep. Boebert and Sen. Coram will be in Pueblo, but neither campaign has agreed to specifics.

Editor's note: Audio of the debate was recorded for KSUT by Ken Brott.

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