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Connecticut News

Lamont And Stefanowski Welcome Griebel To Debate Stage

Jessica Hill / Ebong Udoma
Connecticut Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont, left, celebrates his win in the Democratic primary in August. Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski, right, campaigns at the Scinto Family Day Carnival in Shelton on Saturday.

The two major party candidates running for governor in Connecticut say they welcome having an unaffiliated candidate join them on stage in their next televised gubernatorial debate on Wednesday.

Wednesday’s debate at the University of Connecticut’s Jorgensen Center in Storrs will be the first time that Connecticut Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski will share a stage with Oz Griebel, a former Republican who’s now running for governor as an Independent. Stefanowski says he’s not bothered.

“Whether Oz is on stage or not, I think the message is the same. I’m going to get taxes down, I’m going to turn this economy around and I’m going to reverse what Dan Malloy has done.”

Stefanowski is referring to outgoing Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy, whose job approval ratings are low. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont welcomes having Griebel on the stage.

“I’m looking forward to this debate coming up. And I’m looking forward to having Oz Griebel there. He’s thought hard about these issues, and he’s not making it up. He’s got a point of view that’s based on substance and fact, so I think he’ll lend a little weight to the debate.”

Lamont debated Griebel, who is a former CEO of the MetroHartford Alliance business group, nearly three weeks ago in the first gubernatorial debate of the general election campaign. Stefanowski had refused to participate in that debate.

Since then Lamont and Stefanowski have had two debates in which they faced off one-on-one. Griebel was not invited to those debates because he had less than 5 percent support in the Quinnipiac University poll that was released in late August.

There are two other petitioning candidates for governor in Connecticut. They’ve yet to be invited to any of the scheduled debates.