No debate, but Lamont, Malloy to hold dueling tele-conferences tonight

Democratic gubernatorial candidates Dan Malloy and Ned Lamont will hold telephone town halls tonight, taking calls from voters on an evening when they were invited to debate in New London.

Maybe they can call each other.

Malloy intends to first hold a press conference outside the Garde Arts Center, where The Day of New London and WTNH, Channel 8 had hoped to stage a televised debate with the two Democrats.

Lamont declined to attend, nor will he participate in a forum Aug. 3 that will be simulcast by WFSB, Channel 3 and WNPR radio.  Malloy’s press conference will remind voters of that decision.

Malloy has made Lamont’s refusal to debate in the closing weeks a staple of his campaign, mentioning it in his latest campaign commercial.

The three Republican candidates for governor will debate at the Garde tomorrow night and Aug. 4 on WFSB and WNPR.

Still, there is a debate to watch tonight.

The Federation of Connecticut Taxpayer Organizations will host a U.S. Senate forum tonight at 7 in Mather Hall at Trinity College in Hartford.

But the missing will include the front runners, Republican Linda McMahon and Democrat Richard Blumenthal.

Attending will be two Republicans, Rob Simmons and Peter Schiff, and two minor-party candidates, John Mertens and Warren Mosler.

After suspending his campaign in May, Simmons is airing commercials reminding voters he is on the ballot in the Aug. 10 primary and that Republicans have a choice.

McMahon is ignoring Simmons’ re-entry, saying that her next debate opponent will be Blumenthal.