Apr 16, 2011 12:56 AM by Matt Stafford

Runoff mayoral candidates face-off

Voters are about one month away from the runoff election to see who will be Colorado Springs' first strong mayor; and with the field narrowed down to two, we're hearing more from the two remaining candidates. They faced off for the first debate of the runoff election on Friday at the Penrose House. The candidates had a little more elbow room on the stage, and more room in the conversation.

"First thing I'm going to do is try and create more jobs, there's nothing more important in this community," says candidate Richard Skorman.

Each one was trying to show that they're the man for the job.

"I know what they need and I'm going to tell you that today we have an unfriendly business climate," said candidate Steve Bach.

It was clear each candidate only has one opponent to focus on now.

"If we elect a developer, we're going to have more of the same," Skorman told the audience. "I think you're going to have a lot of risk with this person here (Bach)."

"Richard said we didn't plan. He's right, and he was there," Bach said in a jab toward Skorman.

The topic of where to find money for public safety and social services reached a heated point between the two candidates -- raising taxes.

"We simply must transform our city government so that it works for everyone again; and I'm going to say without tax increases, because I don't believe they're necessary," Bach said.

"You support it all; you support TOPS, you support the RTA, so where's the no tax pledge?" Skorman said, mocking a pledge to not raise taxes Bach signed earlier in the election.

"We voted for that, ladies and gentlemen, because those were worthy causes, it's when the city government tries to jam something down our throat that people rebel," Bach said.

As voters wait for their ballots in the mail, the two candidates seem to still have a lot to debate. Ballots are scheduled to be mailed out April 27th and they will be due May 17th.

If you missed Friday's debate, it will be running on News First Now, all of the week after, at 7 p.m.; that's over-the-air channel 5.2, or Comcast channel 9.


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