Fair Elections Fund Debates

In 2018, Denver voters chose to create the Fair Elections Fund and have entrusted its success and administration to the Office of the Clerk and Recorder. The required debates provide healthy checks and balances for our democracy and elections and allow Denverites to directly engage with candidates and issue committees before casting their vote. Debates hold candidates accountable and provide transparency as they seek elected office in our city. The Office of the Clerk and Recorder is thrilled to partner with community organizations to host debates. Please find the debate sponsor application and answers to frequently asked questions below. 

Debate Schedule

The Fair Elections Fund Debates Schedule will continue to be updated on an ongoing basis. Please check back frequently for the most up-to-date information.

Date TIME Race Organization Address
Tuesday, May 4, 2023 6 - 7:30 p.m. City Council District 10  Upper Downtown Neighborhood Association Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
1445 Market St. 
Denver, CO 80202
Thursday, May 4, 2023 6 - 7 p.m. City Council District 9 GES Gazette Geotech Environmental Equipment, Inc.
2650 E. 40th Ave.
Denver, CO 80205
Thursday, May 11, 2023 6 - 7 p.m. Mayor Regis University 3333 Regis Blvd.
Denver, CO 80221
Mountain View Room


Find answers to frequently asked questions about FEF debates.

Why these debates?

  • The Fair Elections Fund (FEF) Act was passed by Denver voters in the November 2018 General Election. The fund provides public matching funds to candidates for office in the next municipal election cycle. Candidates were able to collect qualifying contributions beginning January 1, 2020.
  • According to the FEF Act, participating candidates must agree to participate in at least two public debates with opponents in the April 2023 Municipal Election.
  • In order to uphold this portion of the FEF Act, the Office of the Clerk and Recorder will work with the community to find sponsors for each required debate. 


Who qualifies to host a debate?

Organizations not affiliated with a political party or with any candidate or officeholder are eligible to sponsor one or more debates. Sponsors may not endorse any candidate running in the 2023 Municipal Election.

What should the debates look like?

Each debate will be at least one hour. Dates, locations and times of these debates will be the responsibility of the organization in partnership with the Office of the Denver Clerk and Recorder.


How do I apply to become a sponsor?

Interested organizations must fill out the provided application and submit it to the Office of the Denver Clerk and Recorder by Thursday, December 8, 2022.

The written application shall include:

  • Proposed dates, times, durations and locations of the debates
  • A detailed description of the format and ground rules for the debates from the sponsor
  • A plan for the publicity, broadcast and other media coverage for the debates
  • Sign an agreement to indemnify the city for any liability arising from acts or omissions of the sponsor


Click here to download the FEF Debate Sponsor Application. (PDF, 292KB)

What are the requirements for co-sponsoring a debate?

Each organization and co-sponsor will submit one application together. Each separate organization will need to complete their own “Organization Verification” (Part I) and sign separate affidavits. All organizations/co-sponsors will complete one “Debate Program Proposal” (Part II).