An American First? It's a Spanish-Only Debate

Congressional candidates face off in Colorado
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2014 7:06 PM CDT
An American First? It's a Spanish-Only Debate
Democratic challenger Andrew Romanoff, left, makes a point as Republican incumbent Mike Coffman listens in an earlier debate.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

This is one of the more tangible signs of the growing importance of the Hispanic vote in American politics: Two congressional candidates in Colorado will have a Spanish-only debate tonight, believed to be the nation's first, reports NBC News. No translators will be allowed as Republican incumbent Mike Coffman tries to fend off Democratic challenger Andrew Romanoff in the 6th District.

Neither is of Hispanic descent, but Romanoff speaks fluent Spanish after teaching in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Coffman has been playing catch-up ever since redistricting added more Hispanics into his district. He works with a tutor and watches Spanish-language news, and the Denver Post notes that he also has softened his immigration stance. He now supports a path toward legal status, but not full citizenship. (More Election 2016 stories.)

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