GOP candidates for Lt. Gov. face off in debate

August 2, 2018

The three Republican candidates for lieutenant governor met in their first debate Wednesday night on NBC Connecticut.

Endorsed candidate state Sen. Joe Markley, Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson and New Britain mayor Erin Stewart showed their distinct personalities in the debate, which was mostly cordial until the closing statements.

“Senator Markley, however, has a voting record with some very difficult votes that are going to be very difficult and likely risk the Republicans being able to win in November,” Stevenson said, then turning to attack Stewart for being too liberal.

“I’ve won consistently in areas where I’m not supposed to win,” Stewart said.

Markley defended his no vote on a “yes means yes” college campus sexual assault bill, and said he is unabashedly pro-life. Both Markley and Stewart said they would support legislation requiring parental notification for teenagers to get an abortion. Stevenson, a mother of four daughters, said she would like to add her experience to the discussion if it were to take place.

“I don’t think any discussion is an unhealthy discussion,” Markley said. “I think that we have to be frank about what we believe and I think we have to be respectful of people’s opinions and I think as a party, we have to be open to a complete range of ideology.”

A second debate featuring the Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor will take place at 8:30 p.m. Thursday night and will air live on NBC Connecticut’s Facebook page and website. NBC political reporter Max Reiss will moderate as he did Wednesday.

kkrasselt@hearstmediact.com; 203-842-2563; @kaitlynkrasselt

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