Across State Lines

Eight major-party candidates. Four congressional districts. One metro area.

The Queen City is at the center of this election-year battle -- and 2004 hasn't disappointed fans. The fight card has been full of trash-talking and chest-beating, particularly in the heavyweight championship fight between Congressman Bob Beauprez and Jefferson County District Attorney Dave Thomas (though they all could use a lesson from Shannon Sharpe on how to showboat with style). Whatever your affiliation, Denver's the place to be for ringside seats to the best political brawls in the nation.

In anticipation of the final round on November 2, Westword gave these major-party candidates the opportunity to come out swinging on our politics and pop-culture quiz. The complete answers are posted at; here are a few highlights.

Congressional District 1:
Diana DeGette vs. Roland Chicas

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Chicas: "Rich."

DeGette: "A public-interest lawyer."

If this were Celebrity Deathmatch, who would win: Wellington Webb or John Hickenlooper?

Chicas: "John Hickenlooper."

DeGette: "I'll take the Fifth."

Who's got the best campaign ad (no fair voting for your own)?

Chicas: "I haven't seen it yet."

DeGette: "Kerry-Edwards ŒBroken Record' ad."

What campaign ad would you like to see?

Chicas: "One that only focuses on resolving problems and not mudslinging."

DeGette: "An ad where President Bush admits why he really invaded Iraq."

What is the biggest issue facing your district?

Chicas: "Excellence in education for our kids in the Denver Public Schools."

DeGette: "Economy, slow job growth and high health-care costs."

If you were stranded on a desert island with a group of U.S. congressmen and women, lawyers and lobbyists, what one law would you want to have in place?

Chicas: "Not to talk politics."

DeGette: "A law mandating search-and-rescue operations begin within 24 hours."

What type of chili do you prefer: red or green? (Tabasco does not count.)

Chicas: "Red. It's less spicy."

DeGette: "Green. I make a mean green chili."

If you could prevent your tax dollars from funding one thing, what would it be?

Chicas: "Politicians' salaries."

DeGette: "Abstinence-only sex-education programs."

If you could fund only one federal program, what would it be?

Chicas: "Education. It is the best investment for our economy."

DeGette: "State children's health insurance."

What's your favorite drinking or dining establishment in District 1?

Chicas: "Kokoro."

DeGette: "Racine's. I'm thrilled the new restaurant is only two blocks from my congressional office."

You want to give your new Senate office a makeover. What reality-TV show would choose for the renovations: While You Were Out, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy or This Old House?

Chicas: "While You Were Out."

DeGette: "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy."

Do you ride RTD or light rail, and if so, what route?

Chicas: "No."

DeGette: "I ride light rail -- the C line down to Coors Field."

Do you support FasTracks?

Chicas: "Yes!"

DeGette: "Yes."

How do you stand on the various constitutional amendments for the November ballot?

Chicas: "No on all except funding for the culture and science fund."

DeGette: No answer.

Congressional District 2:
Scott Hackman vs. Mark Udall

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Hackman: "Third baseman for the Detroit Tigers or an astronaut. I'm still holding out for either."

Udall: "Pro golfer."

If this election were Celebrity Deathmatch, who would win: CU president Betsy Hoffman or National Organization of Women Boulder chapter president Regina Cowles?

Hackman: "I don't generally enjoy reality shows, but I'd pay to see this one. As a CU alumni, and considering what Betsy Hoffman has gone through this year, I'll have to go with Betsy."

Udall: "My money would be on CU Regent Cindy Carlisle to intervene."

What one issue are you the most passionate about?

Hackman: "Creating jobs and growing our economic prosperity while protecting our stunning environment. On a lighter note, I am also passionate on the issue of the Colorado Rockies and want to lead a bipartisan effort to see their relief pitching improve for the 2005 season."

Udall: "Improving educational opportunity for our children; improving our schools is what led me to run for the state legislature in the first place."

What campaign ad would you like to see?

Hackman: "Doesn't John Kerry look a lot like the tree that threw the apples at Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz? I'd like to see an ad that celebrated this likeness."

Udall: "I would like to see an ad that is paid for jointly and featuring opposing candidates, who spend more than a soundbite's worth of time talking about what they agree on. I'd call it the 'Let's see what unites us' advertisement."

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Amy Haimerl

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