On Monday, October 8, over 50 people gathered at the Stamford JCC to speak to the candidates of the upcoming Governor’s race. This gubernatorial forum allowed the three candidates, Bob Stefanowski, Oz Griebel, and Ned Lamont, to speak about what they stand for and answer the public’s questions.
“Going to the gubernatorial debate was important [to me] because who is representing us in the state is important, and these are the people who are going to be making decisions for our education,” Molly Herckis (’19) said.
Bob Stefanowski, who represents the Republican party, was unable to attend but was represented by Joe Marley at the forum. During the event, Marley expressed that Stefanowski’s biggest concerns are cutting estate and corporate taxes in Connecticut and moving to a zero-based budget. Zero-based budgeting requires the state to start with a zero budget and justify each expense for the next year in order to be funded.
According to Kris Timmermans, head of Accenture’s supply chain and operations strategy unit in the Wall Street Journal, “Kraft Heinz Co., Mondelez International Inc., Unilever PLC, and Diageo PLC are among the many companies that rely on zero-based budgeting.”
Although Connecticut is not a company, Stefanowski believes that taking this step could improve the state and encourage people and firms to stay in Connecticut.
The second candidate to speak was Oz Griebel’s lieutenant governor, Monte Frank. Frank and Griebel are running as independents, meaning they are not affiliated with either party. They believe that the system of parties is broken, and Connecticut is in a situation that cannot be solely solved by either party.
Frank emphasized that we need to restore fiscal responsibility and stability in order to thrive as a state. Additionally, Griebel and Frank would like to help Connecticut by putting education and infrastructure at the top of their list.
The last candidate in the gubernatorial election to speak was Ned Lamont. Lamont is running for the democratic party and currently leads against Stefanowsky “by a 46- to 33-percent margin in the first major poll of the Gubernatorial race” according to Quinnipiac University.
During the forum, Lamont focused on his hope to bring down electricity costs and pay off the teachers pension fund.
According to the CT Mirror, the teachers’ pension fund in Connecticut currently only “has enough assets to cover 56 percent of its long-term obligations [and has] suffered from inadequate state contributions for much of the seven decades stretching from 1939 through 2008.”
“It was interesting hearing each candidate’s opinions and how they plan to change our state for the better,” Jacob Herz (’19), a student from Stamford High School who attended the forum, said.
All three candidates expressed that ensuring school safety is important to them and that they do not want to hurt the schools.
“It is important [for students as future voters] to not only know who is running but any issues our city, state, or nation are facing,” Ms. Tintle, social studies teacher, said.
To read more about any of the gubernatorial candidates go to one of their websites: