5TH DISTRICT First Hayes-Santos debate
The first showdown between the candidates running to represent Connecticut’s most competitive Congressional seat is planned for Thursday, when Democrat Jahana Hayes and the GOP’s Manny Santos square off in an afternoon debate.
Hayes, the 2016 National Teacher of the Year, is running as a progressive Democrat against Santos, a combat veteran and former mayor of Meriden, who is running as a Trump Republican.
The 1 p.m. debate sponsored by the Waterbury Regional Chamber, is the first of three debates in October for the open seat in Connecticut’s 5th District, which stretches from greater Danbury to Massachusetts.
U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, a three-term Democrat, disappointed voters in the 5th District when she admitted her role in an office abuse coverup in late March. Within days, she dropped plans to run for a fourth two-year term.
Hayes, who is favored to win by Washington, D.C., election forecasters, has earned national attention as one of the Democratic Party’s rising stars.
Local observers say Santos can close the distance Hayes has established by performing well during the debates.
The debate will not be broadcast or livestreamed.