Debate night at The Garde

After weeks of watching the candidates make their cases for being governor in 30-second TV commercials, voters Wednesday night get to watch Republican Bob Stefanowski and Democrat Ned Lamont present their arguments and defend their positions before a live audience at the Garde Arts Center in New London.

These unscripted moments can define a campaign, and The Day is excited to work with its television partner WTNH to make this first debate between Stefanowski and Lamont possible. WTNH will telecast the one-hour debate from 7-8 p.m. on TV-9 and it will stream on both the WTNH and websites.

As of Tuesday, some tickets remained available at the Garde box office, which opens at 10 a.m. Call in advance to check availability at 860-443-7373. Tickets are free.

Stefanowski, 56, came out on top in a Republican primary field of five candidates, including a couple of established politicians, mimicking the outsider performance of the man who tweeted his support after Stefanowski’s victory on primary night — President Donald Trump. For many voters, tonight’s debate could form a first impression of the businessman and Republican standard bearer.

Lamont, 64, is a bit more familiar to voters, having lost a U.S. Senate bid in 2006 and a primary for governor in 2010, defeated in that contest by the man who has serve d in that office for the past eight years, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. In this race, Lamont has sought to keep his distance from the incumbent and his low approval ratings.

Moderating the event will be WTNH Anchorperson Ann Nyberg, with questions asked by a panel of Day Editorial Page Editor Paul Choiniere, Deputy Managing Editor Izaskun “Sassy” Larrañeta and veteran News 8 Chief Political Correspondent Mark Davis. It will be up to the panel to push the candidates past their talking points and engage a debate on the problems facing the state — among them slow economic growth, a continuing fiscal crisis and a major education gap between poor urban centers and their more affluent suburban neighbors.

Other candidates on the ballot — independent Oz Griebel, Libertarian Rod Hanscomb and Amigo Constitution Liberty Party candidate Stewart Greenstein — did not get the 10 percent support number in a nonpartisan poll that was established as a criteria for gaining entry to the debate.


The Day editorial board meets regularly with political, business and community leaders and convenes weekly to formulate editorial viewpoints. It is composed of President and Publisher Tim Dwyer, Editorial Page Editor Paul Choiniere, Managing Editor Tim Cotter, Staff Writer Julia Bergman and retired deputy managing editor Lisa McGinley. However, only the publisher and editorial page editor are responsible for developing the editorial opinions. The board operates independently from the Day newsroom.


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