Herbst Challenges Fellow GOP Candidates to 10 Primary Debates

TRUMBULL -- GOP gubernatorial candidate and former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst today called on his fellow Republican gubernatorial hopefuls to agree to a series of at least 10 debates.

"In this critical election for Connecticut's future, Republican Primary voters deserve the opportunity to fully vet all the potential candidates for governor to make their own determination who is the best prepared to defeat out-of-touch Malloy enabler Ned Lamont in November, bring fundamental change to Hartford and restore prosperity to our state," Herbst said.

There are currently only two scheduled debates - one in the first congressional district and one in the third congressional district. The first will be held at the Shubert Theater in New Haven sponsored by the CT Realtors Association on June 5, to be televised on WTNH, and the second will be held at the WFSB Studios in Rocky Hill on June 13th.

"We had five Republican debates before the convention for the benefit of likely GOP delegates," Herbst continued. "110,000 likely GOP primary voters deserve at least double the opportunity to hear and see the candidates answer tough questions as 1,100 convention delegates."

Herbst suggested the CTGOP should help facilitate the scheduling of additional debates - the CTGOP is not currently organizing any debates for the primary.

"I call on every Republican candidate for governor to join me in demanding the CTGOP immediately contact established news organizations in the state to schedule and confirm additional debates," Herbst said.

"As a candidate, you have an obligation to face the voters, answer questions and share your vision for saving our state," Herbst continued. "The State Party similarly has an obligation to facilitate these opportunities for voters to vet our candidates and ensure we put our best foot forward in the Fall."

"We have candidates in this contest who have never won or even been through an election, candidates who have refused to answer serious questions about their viability and record and candidates who have never answered questions on stage," Herbst said. "Republican voters simply must know the candidates they are considering for governor can stand on a stage and face tough questions."

Herbst further suggested that any candidate who does not agree to at least 10 debates should exit the race for governor.

"If you don't have enough confidence to stand on a stage 10 times, face the voters and answer tough questions, then you have no business running for governor and should drop-out," Herbst said.

"We have plenty of candidates for governor, what we don't have are plenty of battle-tested candidates who have confidence in their message and a proven track record of winning elections," Herbst said. "That is what I bring to the race. I am a proven reformer and Hartford outsider with the message and record to win next November."

"Struggling Connecticut families deserve to hear from candidates who will level with them about the scale of Connecticut's challenges, what they will do to tackle them and how they are going to win next November," Herbst continued.

Herbst participated in all five CTGOP-sponsored debates held before the Convention on May 12. Herbst and Obsitnik were the only two of the six remaining candidates for governor to participate in every one of those debates.

Herbst's campaign has already begun contacting media outlets and other potential hosts to express interest in additional debates.

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