by Jennifer Swift
Feb 18, 2014
01:55 PM
Connecticut Politics

John McKinney Wants Ten Republican Debates with Gubernatorial Candidates

Following a Republican gubernatorial debate where two of the six candidates for governor were absent, gubernatorial candidate state Sen. John McKinney is calling in on all candidates to participate in ten debates. 

McKinney and three other Republicans—state Sen. Toni Boucher, Joe Visconti and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton—participated in a first debate Sunday in Brookfield. Candidates Tom Foley and Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti did not attend. Foley had a long-standing family commitment, while Lauretti attended a fundraiser.

McKinney made veiled jab at candidates who didn't attend Sunday’s evening, including former ambassador Tom Foley, the party's nominee in 2010. 

“I believe it’s my obligation as someone who wants to be the Republican nominee for governor and it should be the obligation of all the candidates to participate in as many debates as possible,” McKinney said afterward. Asked specifically about Foley’s absence, McKinney said he wasn’t sure if Foley was planning to attend the future debates, which he said is an obligation of all the candidates. Foley spokesman Chris Cooper said Foley does plan to attend future debates.

McKinney’s proposal calls for two debates in each of the state’s five congressional districts.

Reached by phone Tuesday, Visconti said he would attend if half of the debates are held in large cities where the unemployment rate is between 10 and 13 percent. 

A spokesman for Boughton said he would attend additional debates. 

Boughton himself responded to Hartford Courant reporter Daniela Altimari who asked the candidates on Twitter if they would attend additional debates. Boughton said he was in-- and said "make it 20."

John McKinney Wants Ten Republican Debates with Gubernatorial Candidates

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