Candidates for the Republican nomination for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and Treasurer gathered in Wilton on May 4 for their final push for endorsement by Wilton delegates at the upcoming GOP State Convention, May 11-12. Gubernatorial candidates who attended the meet and greet included: Mark Boughton, Tim Herbst, Mike Handler, David Stemerman, Mark Lauretti, David Walker, Peter Lumaj and Steve Obsitnik.  Prasad Srinivasan sent a representative to appear on his behalf as he was unable to attend due to the legislative business in Hartford.  Other candidates included Peter Tesei and Jayme Stevenson, Lieutenant Governor; Sue Hatfield and John Shaban, attorney general; and Thad Gray, treasurer.

Meeting at a private home in Wilton, the common thread that could be found among each gubernatorial candidate was the immediate need to address unfunded pension obligations.  Perhaps the most aggressive initiative came from Mark Boughton and his plan to phase out the income tax. The gubernatorial candidates spoke about their experiences and accomplishments that made them best suited for holding Connecticut’s top office and their respective ideas to make the state more affordable for its businesses and citizens. Steve Obsitnik pointed out that self and special interests are two major problems in Hartford and he’ll work to minimize both. He also pledges to create 300,000 jobs. Mike Handler touted his success in cleaning up Stamford’s debt and how he’ll work with the private sector to invest in Connecticut’s infrastructure. Mark Lauretti and David Walker specifically highlighted their government experience. Peter Lumaj addressed excessive regulation and how he’d work toward restructuring the bureaucracy in Hartford to make it more efficient. Prasad Srinivasan’s representative stressed that Srinivasan’s position as a private physician and state representative make him the most qualified candidate to achieve results for the business sector.

Drawing upon their experience as chief executive officers of their respective towns, lieutenant gubernatorial candidates, Peter Tesei and Jayme Stevenson, spoke about their efforts to keep the mill rate low. Jayme Stevenson indicated that under her leadership, Darien will see a mill rate decrease this year. She also discussed her experience as chairperson of the Western Connecticut Council of Governments and spoke of her work with the federal transportation authorities to secure funding for our region. 

John Shaban and Susan Hatfield discussed their candidacies for attorney general.  Susan Hatfield spoke of her experience in Washington D.C. for Speaker Newt Gingrich as well as her work as a criminal prosecutor in Connecticut for over a decade. John Shaban stressed his big firm experience as a civil litigator as well as his work as a state representative

Treasurer candidate, Thad Gray, said he would use his 35 years of experience of managing private equity investments to push for pension reform.

The Wilton delegates were pleased to have the opportunity to hear from each candidate about their plans to make Connecticut better for its businesses and citizens. Now, on to the convention to nominate candidates!

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