Foley: Jumps into Middletown debate

Republican gubernatorial contender Tom Foley, whose refusal to participate in three Fairfield County debates planned by the League of Women voters led to their cancelation last week, has added a forum to his schedule.

The Foley campaign confirmed Monday afternoon that the Greenwich businessman would participate in Tuesday’s forum in Middletown sponsored by the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now.

Foley originally hadn’t accepted the coalition’s invitation to debate, but campaign spokeswoman Liz Osborn issued a brief statement Monday indicating Foley had rearranged his schedule and would be available for the ConnCAN forum.

“We’re very pleased that all three of the gubernatorial candidates have chosen to come,” Alex Johnston, chief executive officer of the private, nonprofit education advocacy group, said Monday. “I think it is a statement of just how important an issue public education is.”

“This is decisive leadership?” Democratic gubernatorial nominee Dan Malloy said of Foley’s decision. “I’ve accepted every invitation to every debate.”

Independent Party nominee Tom Marsh, who also is participating in the forum, could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.

The forum, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Macdonough Elementary School in Middletown, will be streamed live on the ConnCAN internet site at

The League of Women Voters announced late last week that it was canceling October forums planned in cooperation with the Hearst Newspapers and WABC for Bridgeport, Stamford and Danbury, since Foley never responded to those invitations.

Osborn said last week that “these three debates just didn’t fit into Tom’s schedule,’ but Foley has agreed to a dozen other gubernatorial forums, including four televised debates.