Bob Stefanowski mark pazniokas / ctmirror.org
Republican Bob Stefanowski and Democrat Ned Lamont. ctmirror.org

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ned Lamont challenged his Republican rival, Bob Stefanowski, on Friday to participate in a Sept. 5 debate at the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford.

“The people of Connecticut deserve straight answers from Bob Stefanowski on how he plans to fire thousands of teachers, firefighters and police officers through a dishonest and irresponsible tax plan,” Lamont said, referring to the GOP nominee’s proposal to phase out Connecticut’s income tax over the next eight years.

A spokesman for the Stefanowski campaign could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

“Anyone who stands up here today and says you can’t do it isn’t a true leader,” Stefanowski declared during an Aug. 6 debate among GOP gubernatorial contenders at Fairfield University. “I will rip costs out of the state budget like you have never seen in your life.”

The income tax, which supports 51 percent of the state’s General Fund, could not be eliminated, Lamont has said, even were the state to gut resources for education and municipal aid. “After decades of failures by Democratic and Republican politicians in Hartford, the people of Connecticut deserve someone who will tell them the truth and lead Connecticut to a 21st century economy,” he added.

The debate will be hosted by Fox61, WNPR, the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges, and The Connecticut Mirror.

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Keith has spent most of his 31 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut’s transportation and social services networks. He has been the state finances reporter at CT Mirror since it launched in 2010. Prior to joining CT Mirror Keith was State Capitol bureau chief for The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, a reporter for the Day of New London, and a former contributing writer to The New York Times. Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

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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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