Coffman says Miklosi is ducking a debate

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DENVER — In the increasingly tight race for Colorado’s 6th Congressional District, Congessman Mike Coffman is attacking his opponent for not attending a debate next week.

Joe Miklosi’s campaign says he never agreed to appear at the Oct. 1 debate sponsored by the North Metro Chamber of Commerce, but Coffman’s campaign has been under the impression that Miklosi was participating until the Chamber told them Thursday that he’d be a no-show.

“I’m disappointed that my opponent refuses to meet with small business owners in the district,” said Coffman, R-Aurora.  “This would have been a perfect opportunity to discuss our records on the economy and to lay out our plan to create jobs and get our economy rolling.”

Miklosi’s campaign tells FOX31 Denver that the North Metro Chamber candidate forum is not one of the five debates they’ve agreed to: CBS4/Colorado Public Television 12, 9 News/Denver Post, Rocky Mountain PBS, a Highlands Ranch Community/South Metro Chamber of Commerce Debate, and the Jewish Community Candidates Forum.

“We never accepted this debate invitation because it didn’t work with our schedule,” Miklosi spokesman Ryan Hobart told FOX31 Denver Thursday. “There are many events we have to say no to.

Hobart also called it “ironic” that Coffman’s campaign was attacking them for avoiding a debate “given that you and other reporters had trouble getting him to talk to you for months.”

(Coffman has been criticized by liberal groups and Miklosi for failing to meet with constituents and for avoiding interviews following the controversy over a YouTube clip in which he questioned whether President Barack Obama is an American at heart; but FOX31 Denver has never had an issue getting in touch with Coffman or his campaign).

Coffman’s campaign also noted something ironic — an August press release from Miklosi’s campaign, covered by the Denver Post’s Kurtis Lee, challenging Coffman to five debates.

Lee’s story quotes Coffman spokesman Owen Loftus noting that they’ve agreed to the North Metro Chamber of Commerce debate.

“Miklosi’s campaign said it was glad to hear Coffman will be there,” Lee wrote.

The article failed to mention anything about Miklosi not having agreed to the debate.