On Thursday night, Republican and Democratic candidates for governor are facing off in their own party debates.
Republican candidates for governor are facing off at Mohegan Sun.
The debate started at 6 p.m. at the Cabaret Theater.
On the stage are Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst, Westport businessman Steve Obsitnik, and David Stemerman who petitioned onto the primary ballot.
The Democratic candidates took the stage in New Haven at 7 p.m. where Connecticut realtors are hosting the event at Shubert Theater.
Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont and Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim are facing off in their first primary debate.
With a little over a month before the Republican primary, many are saying the candidates are too similar.
The moderator at the Republican debate said the goal was to have the candidates show the audience off 500 people that while there are many similarities, they aren't the same.
All five Republicans agree that so far, President Trump gets an A. They also agree to be tougher on sanctuary cities and would refuse to sign more gun control legislation.
The topics at Mohegan Sun ranged from immigration, to balancing the budget, to maintaining roads, and getting tough on crime. While the candidates seemed to agree on a lot, the biggest fireworks were exchanged between Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst and businessman Bob Stefanowski.
"I have a problem with the people who get on this stage who have attacked people in public service, who have not voted in 16 years in any election," said Herbst.
The two challenged each other's records.
"You argue that you lower taxes two times when you were the head of Trumbull. What you fail to mention is that you raised taxes eight times," said Stefanowski.
Other differences came when asked about balancing the budget. All had different paths to getting there. Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton and Stefanowski want to get rid the state income tax. Many did agree that pensions needed to be addressed immediately, but it all seemed to come back to the insider versus outsider storyline.
"We got two guys on the stage who are promising to eliminate the income tax. It's been described in the Hartford Courant as 'pie in the sky,'" said Rep. David Stemerman.
When the debate ended moderator Lee Elci talked about his initial goal from the beginning of getting the candidates to showcase their identities.
"I wish they would have done a little more of it, but this is the first time we've done this kind of format. I think they did great, we did get to see that punch, counterpunch for sure," Elci said.
In New Haven, two Democrats, Ned Lamont and Joe Ganim, debated everything from jobs, to education, and even bathrooms.
Both want to be governor and both say they can create jobs and make CT better.
"I went about to a lot of beading businesses, we put together a workforce study, we found out the jobs they need over the next ten, twenty years. We went to community colleges, we started training people," said Lamont.
"We are going to do it by balancing the state budget, as difficult as it might be, put that back on track, we have to be business friendly," said Ganim.
Ganim went to prison for corruption during his first stint as mayor.
"I made some terrible errors in judgment, I broke the law, I resigned from office and I went away," Ganim said.
Lamont was less focused on Ganim's past then what he has done for Bridgeport.
"You have flat-funded education every year you have been there and 29 percent tax increase," Lamont said.
Ganim didn't come from a poor family either, but feels Lamont's wealth puts him out of touch with most voters.
This was the first of four debates between Lamont and Ganim, all will take place before the August 14 primary.
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