Tom Foley, the front-runner in a six-candidate field for the Republican nomination for governor, will not participate in debates until after the GOP nominating convention May 17, his spokesman said Thursday.

“He’s decided between now the convention his focus should really be on the delegates who are going to be making the decisions at the convention,” said Chris Cooper. “He said he’s going to be participating in debates following the conventions.”

Media organizations are sponsoring two televised debates next month on Fox Connecticut and NBC 30: Fox and The Hartford Courant are taping a debate April 11 to air Sunday, April 13; NBC 30 is airing a live debate April 17 at 7 p.m.

Heath Fahle, the campaign manager for Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, said he hopes Foley reconsiders.

“State Republicans have an important choice to make in the race for governor,” Fahle said. “Debates are an integral part of the democratic process, and voters deserve to hear from all the candidates.”

Fahle said the candidates also have been approached about a third televised debate in Fairfield County.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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