Hours after becoming the projected GOP nominee for Connecticut governor, Bob Stefanowski is getting an endorsement from President Donald Trump.
“It is about time that Connecticut had a real and talented Governor. Bob Stefanowski is the person needed to do the job. Tough on crime, Bob is also a big cutter of Taxes. He will win in November and make a Great Governor, a major difference maker. Bob has my total Endorsement!,” the president, a Republican, Tweeted Wednesday morning.
Stefanowski, a Madison resident, bypassed participating in the party’s nominating convention in May, has been running television ads since the start of the year, and is funding his campaign through private donations and with his own money as opposed to applying for the Citizens Election Program.
"So I think it’s fair to say this campaign’s been underestimated from the start," Stefanowski said during a victory speech Tuesday night. "I don’t think anybody really thought we’d be standing up here right now. But we proved them wrong and we’re going to prove them wrong when we beat Ned Lamont in November."
Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy decided against running for a third term and Stefanowski will face Democratic candidate Ned Lamont in the November general election.
Lamont and Stefanowski didn't waste time going at each other. Lamont used Trump's Twitter endorsement of Stefanowski by labeling his Republican opponent as "Bob Trumpanowski" in a tweet on Wednesday.
Stefanowski quickly responded by calling Lamont "Ned Malloy" in a tweet. The GOP hopes Malloy's unpopularity will carry over to Lamont in November.
Endorsed Republican, Danbury’s Mayor Mark Boughton, as well as former hedge fund manager David Stemerman, former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst, and tech entrepreneur Steve Obsitnik all conceded to Stefanowski Tuesday night.
Stefanowski described his competitors as "tough" and "terrific guys" to go up against.
“I look forward to reaching out to them over the next couple days and getting their views on how to beat the Democrats this fall," he said.
Stefanowski said the state needs tax relief, and he has the boldest effort in the field of Republicans looking to become governor. He said he can scale back the income tax over the next eight years, ending with a phase-out.
“I learned that to save our state we have to defend core Republican values of smaller government with less interference in our lives, lower taxes, greater personal responsibility and the highest moral and ethical standards possible," Stefanowski said of his time so far on the campaign trail.