THE BLOG
08/01/2012 01:46 pm ET Updated Oct 01, 2012

Independent Candidate Snubbed From Debate

Independent congressional candidate Tisha Casida has yet to be invited to a debate at Adams State University featuring Democrat Sal Pace and Republican Scott Tipton.

The debate, which will be the first in the race to represent the 3rd congressional district, will take place Aug. 8, according to a tweet by Durango Herald reporter Joe Hanel.

The event is being organized by the Adams State University Veterans Club, a student group, according to a University spokesperson.

"We haven't heard anything about that," said Casida when asked if she was invited to the event. "We'll have our volunteers and supporters call them and see if we can be a part of it."

"The first and foremost reason was the difficulties our group would have accommodating every candidate that decided to run," wrote Cory Diss, President of ASU Vets Club in explaining why Casida wasn't invited, adding that multiple candidates could require organizers to limit the number of questions and responses.

"It would be unfair to invite a candidate who is currently not on the ballot," wrote Diss, "and would open the door for other write-in candidates to ask the same question."

Casida has so far not been invited to participate in the two debates that incumbent Scott Tiption has agreed to attend with Pace: one in Grand Junction, sponsored by Club 20, and another in Pueblo, sponsored by the Pueblo Chieftain.

Tipton told The Denver Post that he will participate in other debates, time permitting.

Pace and Casida have both agreed to debates at Fort Lewis College Oct. 11 and in Aspen in the fall (no date has been set), according to Casida.

"The latest we heard is that Tipton has not confirmed his presence at either of those," Casida told me.

Casida turned in signatures to qualify for the ballot a couple weeks ago, and she said she's confident she'll meet the ballot qualifications by the Aug. 13 deadline.

"We're pounding the pavement and meeting with groups," Casida told me, adding that 2004 Libertarian Presidential candidate Michael Badnarik will be coming to Colorado to help her campaign during the final 100 days.

But nothing she does will convince "some people in the Republican Party" that she's a legitimate candidate.

"No matter what you do, [Republican State Chair Ryan Call] is going to continue to dismiss us," she said. "But the majority of people we reach, we win over, because we are honest and transparent. We have a lot of hungry people who want what we offer."

"We'd love to be included in the debate," said Casida. "But if they decide not to, it's a free country."