Lamont & Stefanowski in first debate on Wednesday

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Although both candidates have never held major elective office, Democrat Ned Lamont has debated Dannel Malloy when he ran against him for governor and Joe Lieberman when he ran against him for the U.S. Senate. Bob Stefanowski has never been in a high stakes debate like this before.

Stefanowski did four debates during the primary, including one in late July because he wanted to rebut the TV attacks his opponent, David Stemerman, had launched, questioning Stefanowski’s party loyalty and failure to vote for a decade.

Former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst was the most aggressive debater during the Republican Primary, and reports say Herbst has been doing mock debates with Stefanowski. Expect Stefanowski to deliver the main message of his campaign, which he has done in every interview and in his TV advertising. 

In a recent News 8 interview, Stefanowski said, “There’s no way you can argue that the
failed economic policy under Dan Malloy should continue, and that’s what Lamont is saying.”

Lamont is much less rehearsed during interviews and news conferences, and obviously will distance himself from the unpopular Governor Malloy. 

Related Content: Watch the 2018 Gubernatorial Debates on News 8

Lamont stated, “I just hope it’s going to be a substantive debate on the issues. Not a lot of throw away lines, not a lot of attacks, not a lot of things you take out of your advertisements.”

In that recent interview, Stefanowski also said, “You can chose somebody who’s gonna work their tail off to try to get rid of the income tax, or you can chose Ned Lamont who’s going to raise taxes. He’s already come out and said he’s going to raise taxes.”

You can expect Lamont to go after Stefanowski on that allegation line and to counter punch that eliminating the income tax would result in higher property taxes and eviscerate aid to education.

Lamont said, “We have a budget crisis in this state. You want somebody who’s serious about making the changes we need to get this state back on track, so I really hope that’s what the debate focuses on.”

We can assure you that will be the case. Debate producers have decided to devote the first third of Wednesday’s debate to that topic

The debate can be seen live on News 8’s sister station WCTX/MyTV9, on Facebook and at WTNH.com starting at 7:00 p.m.

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