NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce hosted a governors’ forum at Quinnipiac University’s North Haven campus.

Republican Bob Stefanowski described himself as a product of public housing, a socially moderate businessman. His new talking point? He would like to bring in private investors, cut a fair deal, and improve train service.

A Boston Consulting Group 2021 report revealed Shoreline East is heavily subsidized, to the tune of $55 per passenger trip.

“You need to be careful,” Stefanowski said. “I used to bring in private equity and maybe some of these men and women can be sharks.”

Gov. Ned Lamont, the Democratic incumbent, described himself as an entrepreneur and businessman. Lamont’s new talking point: $150 million in BOOST funds — a partnership between the state, banks, and small businesses.

“Now we are giving, co-investing with small businesses,” Lamont said. “Help them grow and expand right in their neighborhood.”

Each was asked about balancing the state budget and the estimated $6 billion in surplus.

“I did a debate the other day, and my opponent spent that rainy day fund five times over,” Lamont recalled.

Stefanowski told the audience, “Why wouldn’t we give some of that back now? For job training.”

After, the Republican ticket unveiled a public safety plan alongside law enforcement and community activists. They are skeptical of recent crime statistics showing overall crime is down.

Laura Devlin, the Republican lieutenant governor candidate, said during a recent visit to New Haven, a woman on Dixwell Avenue told her it’s scary.

“They hear gunshots every night. I said, you know, that is not normal. This is not normal.”

John Porriello of Safe Streets CT, a community grassroots organization says, “The police accountability law has resulted in less arrests, which the governor believes equals less crime.”

“When your personal assets are on the line and you can lose your own house, are you going to be as aggressive?” Stefanowski asked.

Lamont and Stefanowski have sparred over the police accountability law that took legal immunity away from officers.

Lamont told News 8, “I think there are some trial attorneys ginning things up, but you look around the entire country, there’s still a dearth of not enough police in the other 49 states as well.”

Both men agree more police are needed.

Both touted their business acumen, and Lamont said he is progressive. Stefanowski said he is a fiscal conservative.