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Oz Griebel, 3rd Party Candidate In Conn., Wants In On Debates

Courtesy of Oz Griebel
Oz Griebel is running as an independent for Connecticut governor.

An independent candidate for Connecticut governor who has petitioned his way on to the November ballot wants to be included in the state’s gubernatorial debates. Oz Griebel, a former Republican, made the case to reporters at a news conference in Hartford on Wednesday.

“We need to be included, and this is the pitch we are making to everybody. Because ‘A,’ we’ve got substantive issues and ‘B,’ Monte and I have developed relationships, established reputations, rather in this state for substance and for making substantive contributions.”

Griebel, the former CEO of the Hartford Metro Alliance business group, and his running mate, Monte Frank, who is Democrat, won access to the November ballot on Tuesday when the secretary of the state's office verified that they had received more than the 7,500 of petition signatures required. Griebel says that should be enough to secure him a place on the gubernatorial debate stage.

“The idea of looking at us as serious candidates is absolutely critical to providing the voters with a legitimate third choice in November. And the fact that we’ve secured the signatures, that 10,000 signatures, is just another example of people looking for a true independent perspective and true independent leadership come January.”

Griebel is taking part in a debate with the Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ned Lamont on September 5. Republican nominee Bob Stefanowski will not take part. Griebel would like to be included in the four subsequent debates that Stefanowski has agreed to. Traditionally, the threshold to take part in a general election gubernatorial debate is 10 percent in the Quinnipiac Poll. In the only Q poll to be releases so far, Griebel polled at 4 percent.

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.