Republican candidates for Governor take part in third debate

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– The race for governor in 2018 is crowded, and Republican candidates battled for a third time in a debate on Wednesday at Notre Dame High School in West Haven in front of over 400 people.

The debate was moderated by our own Ann Nyberg and right out of the gate, a question on the minds of Americans one week after the deadliest school shooting since Sandy Hook: 

“What are your solutions as far as school security and our kids?” Panelist Vinnie Penn asked.
“If elected governor, there would be an executive order that every school in our state have security, armed security for our children,” Fairfield-based lawyer, Peter Lumaj said.
Steve Obsitnik took a bit of a different position.
“Why aren’t elected officials coming together on commonsense things around background checks,” tech CEO Steve Obsitnik said.  “Why aren’t we doing enough to protect our schools?”
First selectman of Trumbull, Tim Herbst, said a deadly weapon only becomes a deadly in the hands of deadly person.
“If elected governor, there would be an executive order that every school in our state have security, armed security for our children,” Fairfield-based lawyer Peter Lumaj said.
Watch our complete debate coverage below:
Sexual harassment also took center stage with panelists asking Danberry Mayor Mark Boughton about complaints filed against he and his administration. He was asked how he handled the allegations and what he learned from them. Neither question was answered.
“We do have a zero tolerance policy so I fired people that violated that policy,” Boughton said.
Affordability for hard working families is something voters will take with them to the polls.
Shelton’s Mayor, Mark Lauretti, said Connecticut is even on affordable for people who can afford to be here.
Michael Handler, CFO and chief administrative officer of Stamford notes that l the state is facing a financial crisis.
“The reality is we have a $100 billion problem we have to fix,” Handler said.
Physician and representative for Connecticut’s 31st district, Prasad Srinivasan said he has a solution for day one.
“Every state agency will be required to come up with a budget, zero based budgeting,” Srinivasan said.
An overwhelming disapproval by all candidates on Eversource saying their rates are driving families out of the state.
“It is an outrage! There’s some kind of scam going on and if I’m governor, I’m going get to the bottom of it,” David Walker, former U.S. Comptroller General said.
The candidates are now looking ahead to their fourth debate as Gov. Dannel Molloy’s term draws near its end.
We did not see two women on the stage tonight – Senator Toni Boucher and New Britain Mayor, Erin Stewart. They have not declared an official run for governor and are still in the exploratory phase.
The Connecticut Republican Party did charge admission for tickets. They say that was to cover the cost of the event and security.

The following candidates participated in Wednesday night’s debate:

Mark Boughton – Mayor of Danbury

Michael Handler – Chief Financial Officer & Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Stamford

Peter Lumaj – Fairfield-based attorney, ran for Secretary of the State in 2014

Prasad Srinivasan – Medical Doctor and State Representative, 31st district, representing Glastonbury

David Walker – Former U.S. Comptroller General

Steve Obsitnik – Entrepreneur and tech consultant

Tim Herbst – First Selectman of Trumbull

Mark Lauretti – Mayor of Shelton

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