The Denver Post hosted a debate last night for six three of the candidates (plus Captain America) vying to be the next governor of Colorado.  Greg Brophy, Mike Kopp, and Steve House all showed they were well-versed in the nuances of the issues facing Colorado. Any of them can go toe-to-toe with Hickenlooper this fall.

Brophy pointed out where a lot of CDOT’s money has gone when asked about the public/private road funding model of US-36:

“In ’09 the Democrats passed Senate Bill 228, which cut funding to highways and construction… that has diverted somewhere between one-and-a-half to two billion dollars away from construction into entitlements.”

House gave a nuanced response showing the false dichotomy between choosing TABOR refunds or expanded education funds:

“The problem is not whether we give them a refund or take it away from education, the problem is we need to roll back the worst parts of Medicaid expansion so it’s not a problem in the first place.  Because the reality of it is a tax paid by hospitals to care for patients being refunded to taxpayers is misappropriated but it’s really the issue of Medicaid expansion not necessarily TABOR limits or the value of education.”

And, unlike how Hickenlooper might feel this fall, Kopp showed no fear of running on his record:

“A candidate’s record is the best indication of what they are going to do… Don’t look at what I’m telling you I’m going to do, look at what I’ve done… I had a track record there of being able to accomplish conservative reforms like cutting taxes and immigration reform while working from the standpoint of the minority.  And I had to work with Democrats to get those jobs done.  That’s what Coloradans want.”

Meanwhile, we’re not quite sure Jason Clark Cap’n knows how gravity works:

“There’s only one place in the Nation, in the world really, where we can do hydroelectric, and that’s right here in Colorado because all the water flows out of our state.  This is our water. ”

To which the Hoover Dam responds, “Huh bro?”  And China’s Three Gorges Dam is like, “What is this water you speak of?”

Clark aside, between a CEO; a bike-riding, Prius-driving farmer; and a former Army Ranger, Minority Leader, Colorado Republicans can put forth an articulate conservative who will forcefully take the fight to Hickenlooper this fall.