Republican Candidates for Governor Try to Stand Out in Dense Field - NBC Connecticut

Republican Candidates for Governor Try to Stand Out in Dense Field

Talking about Connecticut’s fiscal crisis took up much of the night, and everyone on the stage said they can do a better job and those who’ve come before them.

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    The five GOP candidates for governor at a debate Thursday night at Mohegan Sun.

    With five Republican candidates still in the running for governor ahead of the primary, the hopefuls did whatever they could to set themselves apart at a debate at Mohegan Sun Thursday.

    Talking about Connecticut’s fiscal crisis took up much of the night, and everyone on the stage said they can do a better job and those who’ve come before them.

    Tim Herbst argued that his time as Trumbull First Selectman can make the difference.

    "I'm proud that we balanced eight budgets and cut taxes twice, we did this while reforming a broken pension system,” Herbst said.

    High-tech businessman Steve Obsitnik said it’s about creating opportunities for families to be successful in Connecticut.

    "This election is about mindset, it's about a mindset of being a maker versus a taker and this state has been led by takers for far too long,” he said. “I've built successful high tech companies around the world."

    But Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said just because you know business and finance doesn’t mean you’ll be a good leader in government.

    "You see in business you can just tell people to do something or they get fired, you want do that in government? That's why it's a different skill set, that's why you got to be careful that we don't put somebody forward that needs on the job training,” Boughton said.

    Former executive Bob Stefanowski said his fiscal experience at GE would put him ahead of his rivals trying to solve the crisis.

    "We're going to get rid of the estate tax, we're going to get rid of the corporate tax over two years, we're going to phase out the state income tax over eight years," he said, laying out his plans.

    David Stemerman, who started his own capital firm, said the numbers from the other candidates just don’t add up, and he offered his own plan.

    "We have a plan to get the train from NYC to Stamford in 30 minutes New Haven in 60 and an hour and 30 up to Hartford those are plans we can execute, this is a pipe dream,” Stemerman said.

    On the social issues the group largely agree on preserving the First Amendment, and ending sanctuary cities.

    They all also said they approved of President Donald Trump’s work in the White House so far.

    Primary day in Connecticut is Aug. 14.