Election 2018 Maroney, Staneski to square off
MILFORD — The two candidates for the 14th state Senate seat — Democrat James Maroney and Republican Pam Staneski — will meet in a debate on Sept. 17 at the First United Church of Christ.
The debate is being hosted by the Plymouth Men’s Club, one of First United’s adult fellowship groups. Doors will open at 7 p.m., and the debate will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Staneski wasn’t the GOP’s endorsed candidate. In the Aug. 14 Republican primary, she trounced party favorite and Milford Alderman Anthony Giannattasio 2,791-1,520 to get her name on the November ballot.
“The focus is going to be on jobs and the budget,” Maroney said Wednesday, “and also seniors who want to stay in their homes. We also have the need to make sure that we have a trained workforce — computer coding and advanced manufacturing skills.”
Both candidates said that they have a lot of respect for each other.
“Jim is a great guy,” Staneski said. “He does wonderful community work. But at the end of the day this is all about the path that the state needs to take.”
The 14th District includes all of Milford, all of Orange and parts of West Haven and Woodbridge. The church is located behind City Hall.
The debate moderator will be club member Arthur Stowe. He said that both candidates will be given five minutes for introductory remarks. After that, questions written on slips of paper will be accepted from the audience. There is also to be time for concluding remarks.
“We’ll be accepting questions that both candidates can address, not those that only concern one of them,” Stowe said.
This is the third time that Maroney and Staneski have opposed each other in state elections, although it’s the first time that they’re both looking for a seat in the state Senate.
Two earlier contests between the two were cliffhangers for the 119th House District.
In 2012, Maroney defeated Staneski 5,998-5,528. But the tables turned in 2014, when Staneski defeated Maroney 4,423-4,272.
Maroney didn’t run for the 119th in 2016; in that year, Staneski handily defeated Democrat Ben Gettinger by a vote count of 7,538-5,231.