Udall, Schaffer square off at Sacred Heart

       Several hundred people filled the Sacred Heart Church gym Aug. 16 for a debate featuring Republican Bob Schaffer and Democrat Mark Udall. The two are vying for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Wayne Allard. Moderator Tim Fuller (standing) addresses U.S. Senate
candidates Democrat Mark Udall (left), Republican Bob Schaffer and Bob Kinsey of the Green Party at the start
of a forum Aug. 16 in Sacred Heart Church’s gym. Doug Campbell of the American Constitution Party arrived a few minutes later.
Westside Pioneer photo
       The hour-long session, which focused chiefly on questions and answers about immigration, also included two less-known candidates (Doug Campbell of the American Constitution Party and Bob Kinsey of the Green Party).
       The debate may be the first of several between Schaffer and Udall, based on comments during the meeting. Schaffer told the audience that he seemed to be the “only one” interested in debating, but Udall responded that he was ready for “six or seven other debates.”
       Udall is a 10-year member of the House of Representatives (the 2nd District, covering a northwestern part of the state). Schaffer was a member of Congress from 1997 to 2003, and is now an elected member of the State Board of Education.
       The two differed on the issue of illegal immigration, with Udall calling for a solution that would ensure secure borders while working with various affected groups on a “sensible” overall solution. But Schaffer, who said he “absolutely” supports a border fence, charged that his opponent's plan amounted to “amnesty” because it would allow people here illegally to stay (albeit with certain conditions). Schaffer said greater priority should be given to those who wish to immigrate legally, giving as an example a family he knew in which the slow process has separated a father from his children.
       Campbell worried that the country's infrastructure is too taxed even to support the numbers of legal immigrants, while Kinsey indicated that immigration is not a problem at all.
       The forum climaxed an all-day immigration fourm at Sacred Heart. Between those numbers and supporters of each candidate, so many were in attendance - despite a steady rainfall - that others who had hoped to view the debate could not be let in because there was no room inside.

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