A debate today between state Senator candidates Fort Collins
Mayor Ray Martinez and Bob Bacon was cancelled with both sides
accusing the other of foiling the event.
The debate was cosponsored by The Fort Collins Coloradoan and
was to be held on the CSU campus. Days before the event, Karrin
Anderson, the debate organizer and an assistant professor for the
Department of Speech Communications, ultimately decided to cancel
the event because the parties involved could not reach an
Martinez and Bacon are running for the State Senate District 14
seat, along with Libertarian Mark Brophy. This would have been
their first formal debate.
Both Bacon’s and Martinez’s campaigns contend that trouble began
when Brophy tried to enter the debate. Martinez said because Brophy
was not part of the initial agreement to be in the debate, he did
not want to take part in it.
Bacon’s campaign agreed Brophy was not part of the original
agreement but said Bacon had no problem with him joining it.
Gray McGinnis, Bacon’s campaign manager, said the debate falling
apart is because of Martinez’s actions and unwillingness to
“The debate was canceled because Ray backed out,” McGinnis
Martinez said he did no “backing out.” He said he was not
interested in being the “buffer” in the debate between Bacon and
Brophy. He said Brophy suddenly “jumped in the mix” of things, and
he was not willing to violate the original agreement and debate
“These two (Bacon and Brophy) need to get in the ring and duke
it out. I am in the center and I am not their punching bag. They
know he is a spoiler with the conservative vote,” Martinez
Martinez said he is open to rescheduling the debate as long as
the parties involved agree on the debate guidelines. He said he was
OK with Brophy joining a debate as long that it is specified in an
“We are willing to reschedule the debate (at) CSU,” Martinez
McGinnis said the Bacon campaign has attempted to reschedule the
debate twice, but Martinez refused.
“Standing up for what you believe in in politics is important
and I do not understand why Martinez does not see that,” McGinnis
Troy Krenning, Martinez’s campaign manager, said everything was
fine and both sides had a “wonderful platform.” That was until
Brophy stepped in and demanded to be part of the debate, he
Krenning said Bacon’s campaign has “never ever” contacted
Martinez’s campaign to try and reschedule the debate and that
Martinez has “21 days to withstand their firestorm.”
“If Dr. Anderson is going to reschedule the debate, I will clear
my calendar,” Krenning said.
Both sides acknowledged Brophy sent out an e-mail to everyone
involved in the debate, including Anderson, stating he was upset he
could not attend the event because of Martinez’s objection.
Brophy stated it was unfair for him to be excluded from the
event in the e-mail. The e-mail prompted Anderson to call off the
In a press release sent by McGinnis, titled in bold underline
letters, “Martinez Short Changes CSU Students,” Anderson is quoted
as saying: “Since the event no longer serves the original purpose
of giving the CSU student community access to the major candidates
in a debate format, we have canceled the debate.”
Anderson could not be reached for direct comment.
“Oh, fiddle faddle,” Marinez said. “The real debate is between
Bacon and I.”