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GOP Governor Hopefuls Debate Achievement Gap in New Canaan

Republican candidates for CT Governor meet in their 5th and final debate in New Canaan Photo Credit: Ted Yang
Candidate for CT Governor and Westport resident Steve Obsitnik speaks at the 5th and final GOP debate Photo Credit: Ted Yang
Candidate for CT Governor and New Canaan resident Mike Handler speaks at 5th and final GOP debate Photo Credit: Ted Yang

Nine Republican candidates for governor of Connecticut debated on the stage in New Canaan's Saxe Middle School Wednesday night for the fifth and final time.

Poll
Who won the GOP Governor debate last night in New Canaan?
Final Results Voting Closed

Who won the GOP Governor debate last night in New Canaan?

  • Mike Handler
    6%
  • Mark Lauretti
    30%
  • Mark Boughton
    2%
  • Peter Lumaj
    1%
  • Steve Obsitnik
    2%
  • David Stemerman
    1%
  • Tim Herbst
    33%
  • David Walker
    6%
  • Prasad Srinivasan
    18%

The candidates were mostly cordial, reserving their fire for Gov. Dannel Malloy and the Democratic party, upon whom they placed most of the blame for the issues facing our state.

Topics included transportation and infrastructure, the budget deficit, pensions, gun rights and for the first time, the education and achievement gap between our richest and poorest cities.

"We've got to find a way to fix, in our cities, the fact that our kids are going to school initially unprepared to learn." New Canaan resident and Stamford CFO Mike Handler, said.

Steve Obsitnik, Westport resident and successful CEO, advocated an outcomes-based system.

"We have (districts) where there is a 70% graduation rate, that is unacceptable if we are ever to close this achievement gap."

Former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst added, "It's about accountability. ... it goes beyond the typical school day and it takes everybody working together to close that gap."

All candidates were in favor of increased school choice and eliminating waste.

The Republican candidates will meet together with their potential Democratic opponents this Saturday as part of the Maker Faire in Westport, CT at Noon at the Westport Town Hall.

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