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Stark Differences In Governor's Race: 'There's So Much At Stake'

By Shaun Boyd

DENVER (CBS4) - Colorado's gubernatorial candidates are a study in contrasts.

But there is one thing Republican Walker Stapleton and Democrat Jared Polis agree on - this election is about two distinctly different visions for our state.

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Walker Stapleton and his wife Jenna (credit: CBS)

"I think it's got huge consequences for Colorado's future," Stapleton said as he dropped off his ballot with his wife, Jenna.

"There's so much at stake for Colorado," echoed Polis at a Democratic Get Out The Vote rally with union workers in Adams County.

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Jared Polis (credit: CBS)

Polis has laid out what he calls "big bold ideas," that range from all renewable energy to all day kindergarten to Medicare for all.

"We want to be one of the very best states for educating kids, for seniors, for saving money on health care. That means pushing the envelope and going up against entrenched special interests."

Stapleton's approach is more cautious and conventional.

Jared Polis Walker Stapleton
(credit: CBS)

"I want to make sure if I'm making promises as Colorado's next governor that I know how pay for them. It's why we've come out with a detailed plan to fund infrastructure over the long term using four dedicated sources of revenue from the general fund; why we've talked about improving access and affordability to health care."

Stapleton says the choice is between less government regulation and spending or more intrusion and debt.

colorado capitol
(credit: CBS)

"We want a government, I think, as Coloradans that allows us to recognize our hopes and dreams, that allows us to grow small business into big business... and I think the choices are really stark this election. Polis insists the choices are politics-as-usual versus real results," Stapleton said.

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(credit: CBS)

"There's good ideas on the right, there's good ideas on the left, there's good ideas in the center but they all take pushing back against the inertia to make them happen," Polis said.

While public polls have Polis winning by a large margin, our election partner, The Colorado Sun, reports that Polis just dropped another half million dollars into the race in the final week, bringing his total to more than $23 million. That likely means this race is much closer than the polls indicate.

Shaun Boyd is CBS4's political specialist. She's a veteran reporter with more than 25 years of experience. Follow her on Twitter @cbs4shaun.

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