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Blumenthal, Carter Face Off In Debate

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Courtesy of WFSB
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The two candidates for U.S. Senate in Connecticut met on Sunday for their first and only debate on WFSB TV’s Face the State.

Republican challenger Dan Carter, a state representative from Bethel, accused incumbent U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of being among the Democrats responsible for political gridlock in Washington.

“They have put the Paycheck Fairness Act in front of Congress since 1997…and I believe Senator Blumenthal even supported that Act. But it was full of poison pills for the other side that no one would ever pass it. It was called a message bill. It was just something people could run on when they come home. You know I’m going to abandon the party politics whenever I can. I work with both sides, and I think that’s how we are going to get rid of gridlock in Washington,” Carter said.

Carter also seized the opportunity to call for term limits on members of Congress.

“When you have a powerful incumbent with a lot of funding, a lot of time behind him, it is very difficult for people with ideas to come up and challenge. In fact, this is the first opportunity I’ve had to have a debate and watch my opponent actually answer questions. My gosh, even Trump gave three debates. But I tell you what, I’m okay with that. What I’m not okay with is the fact that we can’t in our democratic process do term limits,” Carter said.  

Incumbent Democrat Richard Blumenthal, who is a seeking a second six-year term, had opposed the idea. “I really have not supported term limits because I think the democratic process should work to throw out of office people who have exhausted the patience and also who are failing to do their job as well as they should be.”

Blumenthal says he’s in Washington to fight for the people of Connecticut.

“My job has always been to stand up to those special interests and fight for the people of Connecticut. For consumers who are ripped off. For women who want equal pay for equal work. And for our veterans who deserve quality healthcare,” Blumenthal said.

The candidates also sparred over abortion, gun control and the economy. Blumenthal, who has raised nearly $6 million, has been running TV ads. Republican challenger Carter has raised about $80,000 and has not run TV ads.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.