NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — News 8 hosted the final Connecituct gubernatorial debate of the election cycle on Tuesday — one week before Election Day on Nov. 8.

Incumbent Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont, two-time Republican challenger Bob Stefanowski and Independent Party candidate Rob Hotaling took center stage at Mohegan Sun.

Did you miss the debate? Watch it in its entirety here. Join the conversation on social media by using #CTGOVDEBATE.

From the economy to abortion to crime, the three panelists — News 8 anchor Keith Kountz, News 8 chief political correspondent Jodi Latina and Joe DeLong, the executive director of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities — asked it all so voters can get one last look at the candidates before the Nov. 8 election.

One of the most heated exchanges came when Stefanowski accused Lamont of putting patients infected with COVID-19 into nursing homes alongside healthy residents at the beginning of the pandemic. Lamont said the COVID-19 patients were kept separate. Stefanowski brought Lamont’s former health commissioner along to say that was a lie.

Things also got heated when talking about crime, specifically, the Police Accountability Act. Lamont stands by it, Stefanowski doesn’t like it, and Hotaling has his own perspective as a person of color.

“I think anything that builds trust and the community is a very important thing,” Lamont said.

“I’m going to fix it, I’m going to repeal it, we’re going to keep cops safe, and we’re going to keep the people of Connecticut safer,” Stefanowski said. “It’s as simple as that.”

“Have either of you ever been stopped by the police? Threated and shouted? I have… it makes you think differently,” Hotaling said. “I support the police to give them the tools they need to be successful in their communities.”

All three agreed on some issues, including that women should have the right to choose what happens to their bodies, and that COVID-19 vaccines should not be mandated for children. As predicted, there was also a clash on spending the state’s $6 billion surplus, the so-called rainy day fund. Stefanowski basically says it’s pouring right now. Lamont says spending it would be irresponsible.

“What I see is the second-highest taxes in the entire country,” Stefanowski said. “What I see is Eversource announcing a 40% increase in rates and potential blackouts. Meanwhile, we’re sitting on $6 billion of a slush fund.”

“Look at what the previous governors did… just what Bob wants to do,” Lamont said. “Spend it down and hope for better times. Do you know what that means? Raising taxes and cutting state aid to each and every one of you.”

The video below is from News 8 at 10 on Nov. 1, 2022.

News 8 is your local election headquarters. Midterm elections take place on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. News 8 will bring you up-to-the-minute results once polls close at 8 p.m. Tune in for live team coverage on air and online.

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