All five Republican candidates for Connecticut governor are trying to break out from the large pack and differentiate themselves for voters, with the primary just three weeks away.
The two wealthy businessmen, who are mostly self-funding their campaigns, went on the offensive at Tuesday's debate at Sacred Heart University, going after one another's business experience.
Former Greenwich hedge fund manager David Stemerman is criticizing former General Electric executive Bob Stefanowski for working for a company that made pay day loans. Stefanowski is criticizing Stemerman for "skimming money off of trading stocks."
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst and Westport tech entrepreneur Steve Obsitnik argue they have the right experience and principles to run Connecticut.
But with the primary so close, the governor’s push to spend $10 million on a toll study became the hot-button issue, and on that, they all seemed to agree.
"What does Dan Malloy wanted to do? He wants to spend $10 million on the majority of the people in the state do not want,” Stefanowski said.
"We do not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. We need a governor who is going to say enough,” Herbst said.
"When the train is slower than it was in 1970, when I-95 is the third most congested road in the country, we're not getting the job done,” Stemerman argued.
"The reality is that we spend about $800 million on a train line and bus route to the middle of nowhere, that just 2,500 people each week using it,” Obsitnik said.
"Let me be very clear about tolls. I will strap myself to I-95 before I let a toll be put up anywhere in this state,” Boughton said.
Democrats Ned Lamont and Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim will take part in a debate on Thursday. That is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Sacred Heart.