U.S. Sen. Mark Udall has proven himself to be quite the coward after declining to debate his opponent, U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, in any live on-air debates. As CBS 4’s Shaun Boyd points out, this is the first time in the station’s history this has happened.

After last weekend’s Club 20 debate between the senate candidates, there was a lot of spin from both sides about what the highlights were and who won. But, the real tell of which candidate came out on top is that in the aftermath, Udall has gone into hiding. Gardner, meanwhile, has agreed to 16 debates.

This whole affair makes Udall’s June letter challenging Gardner to “a series of open and honest debates” make even less sense. His letter stated that “Colorado has a great tradition of holding spirited public debates,” and that “U.S. Senate candidates standing on a stage together is a proud Colorado custom.”

If you’re the weaker debater, a strategy of avoidance makes sense. The gaffes are remembered and rebroadcast, so limiting your exposure is the safe choice. However, we expect more from our state’s senior senator, especially considering he is asking the voters to grant him another term. Udall should be embarrassed and ashamed of choice.