Welcome to the big dance, Libertarians.
Club 20, an influential Western Slope lobbying group, this year for the first time invited third-party candidates to participate in congressional and gubernatorial debates.
The Libertarian Party was so thrilled that members came from across the state to cheer on their candidates on Saturday.
"We're just happy to be here," said chairman Travis Nicks.
Before the debates, the Libertarians gathered outside Grand Junction's convention center, holding signs and chanting, "The only choice for governor is the only governor for choice."
They were referring to their candidate, Dawn Winkler, who says a woman has the right to decide whether to have an abortion.
During the debate, she mostly ignored Republican Bob Beauprez's record and saved her skewering for Democrat Bill Ritter.
Winkler said she wasn't sure where Ritter stood on abortion, and she gave Beauprez an opportunity to blast Ritter's position on gun issues.
But the scene-stealer turned out to be Bert Sargent, the Libertarian running in the 3rd Congressional District, who got huge laughs and applause for his answers.
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