Educating first-time voters on the two Connecticut Governor candidates
The self-proclaimed “political outsider” against “Connecticut’s next education governor.” Politician versus business man. Bob Stefanowski and Ned Lamont stood in the same room for the first time on Sept. 12 since being appointed by their selective political parties for the first Gubernatorial Debate at the Garde Arts Theatre in New London.
Broad Street divided the pre-rally crowds for the debate. On one side, Lamont supporters held signs above their heads and on the other, Stefanowski supporters did the same. The rowdy crowds could be heard down the block for hours before the doors opened.
Daryl Finizio, former mayor of New London, shared support for Lamont: “I like what Ned has to say about alleviating local property taxes because in the city, the property taxes are very high. We want to be able to control them without support from the state.”
On the other side of the crosswalk John Schroeder stood amongst the mass, an architect and Stefanowski supporter from Chester. “We need to lower taxes in Connecticut. The rest of America is leaving us behind and we need to catch up,” said Schroeder.
There is a clear divide between those who vote differently. One of the only changes the two candidates agree on is making the DMV lines shorter. Especially for first time voters in high school, it is important to be informed and educated on candidates before forming individual opinions. Election day is Nov. 6.
Stefanowski is campaigning on the platform of lowering taxes in Connecticut, and plans to do this by eliminating gift and state taxes. Many criticize him for not disclosing details explaining a plan of action for doing so. Other goals are to increase infrastructure quality by repairing properties and to improve the economy.
On August 15, Donald Trump tweeted his support for the Republican candidate: “ Bob Stefanowski is the one needed to do the job. Tough on crime, Bob [Stefanowski] is also a big cutter on taxes… Bob has my total Endorsement!”
One point of contention for voters is that Stefanowski has not voted in 16 years besides the 2017 municipal election, and did not vote in the 2016 presidential election. “I worked in London for eight years, and two years in Philadelphia,” said Stefanowski. “I should have mailed in an absentee ballot.”
Ned Lamont vows to be Connecticut’s “education governor” and said, “We must focus on giving every kid a fair shot.” Stefanowski has called Lamont a “clone of Malloy” and says that Lamont will bring higher taxes for Connecticut.
Lamont feels as though his business experience will help him to improve Connecticut’s economy.
“I started a business, I created jobs, and every year it got bigger and better. Stefanowski is a big guy who went into a corporate company and they went south. They got smaller. They laid off people. They needed a bailout to survive. So our business experience is as different as night and day,” said Lamont.
In the end, Lamont wants everyone to get involved in what they are passionate about.
“I’m most excited to get young people like you to believe in the state again. I want to get you involved. I want you to know that politics is a noble calling. And I want you to roll up your sleeves and get involved on either side of the aisle,” said Lamont. “Find an issue that you really believe in. Young people on the issue of gun control were so important after Sandy Hook and Parkland. I love seeing young people involved on an issue they really care about, it moves the dial and makes a difference.”
18-year-old students are encouraged to register to vote, do research on the candidates, and choose who they want to vote for. A “political outsider” or the next “education governor?” A politician or a businessman? Bob Stefanowski or Ned Lamont? You decide.