Gubernatorial Candidates Ned Lamont and Bob Stefanowski met for the final time on WPLR-FM Monday morning ahead of Election Day. Both candidates took part in a morning debate on “Chaz & AJ In the Morning.”
The radio hosts tried to get Republican Bob Stefanowski and Democrat Ned Lamont to hug to start off the debate. While the would not hug it out, they did not exactly punch it out, either. Both say Governor Dannel Malloy did a bad job. The question is how bad?
On a scale of 1 to 10, Lamont rated Malloy a 4. Stefanowski said, “Negative 5.”
“You have a bell in front of you,” explained Chaz. “That’s the ‘BS bell.’ So if you feel that your opponent is not being completely truthful, you ring in and then you get to respond to that answer.
Those bells got used a lot as Lamont took on Stefanowski’s plan to eliminate the income tax.
“That will mean a lot of costs are pushed onto towns and cities, jacking up their property taxes,” Lamont said, as Stefanowski rang his bell. “I will reduce the property tax, which is the biggest ta payed by the middle class.”
“Ned, you’re talking about a $100 reduction in the property tax, then you raised it to $300,” Stefanowski said as Lamont dinged him. “It’s going to do nothing to stimulate this economy.”
The two have very different ideas about fixing the state’s roads. Lamont wants tolls on trucks.
“Focus on those tractor trailer trucks. It represents about $300 million,” Lamont said over a Stefanowski bell ring.
“We’re going to fix this infrastructure by bringing in the private sector,” said Stefanowski. “We’re going to move stuff off of I-95. We’re going to move freight off of I-95. We’re going to fix the airports. We’re going to increase the speed of the trains.”
As the campaign reaches the end of the tracks, the focus remains on fixing the state’s fiscal crisis.
“I’m not going to put up tolls. I’m going to lower taxes, and I’m going to get this economy moving,” Stefanowski said in a press conference after the debate. “So Ned ended this campaign right where he started which is, ‘I’m going to raise taxes,’ which is what he’s been saying for a year now.”
“Up until today he’s been talking about eliminating the corporate income tax and eliminating the estate tax in the first budget cycle,” said Lamont. “Today he said, ‘I can’t do any of that in the first budget cycle.'”
And did I say there were no punches? Well, there were right at the end. In another Chaz & AJ tradition, the candidates squared off in a game of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots. Stefanowski won. It was a bit of lighthearted fun, before the candidates went back to some serious campaigning.
The entire debate is available to watch here.