Himes, Debicella face off at Greenwich forum

As we head toward an Election Day rematch between them, U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-4th) and his Republican challenger, Dan Debicella, are coming to Greenwich for a candidates forum.

Mr. Himes, from Cos Cob, and Mr. Debicella, a former state senator from Shelton, are scheduled to appear at an event on Tuesday, Oct. 7, at the Round Hill Community House at 397 Round Hill Road. The forum is jointly sponsored by the Round Hill Association, the Northwest Greenwich Association and the Northeast Greenwich Association. There will be refreshments starting at 7 p.m. and the forum is scheduled for 7:30.

While this is not intended to be a formal debate, both Mr. Himes and Mr. Debicella will have the chance to express their views on the issues facing the town, the community and the nation. Audience members will also be able to submit questions to the candidates.

This will hardly be the only face-off between the two planned. In addition to other planned forums and debates, 12 area chapters of the League of Women Voters, including Greenwich’s, are teaming up to present a debate between them on Sunday, Oct. 19. The event, free and open to the public, will be held from 4 to 5:30 at the Clune Performing Arts Center at Wilton High School, 395 Danbury Road (Route 7) in Wilton.

“The leagues of Southwestern Connecticut — the 4th Congressional District — have joined forces to present a centrally located forum for area residents to learn the candidates’ positions on national and local issues, particularly those impacting our region,” debate facilitator Jara Burnett of Greenwich said.

Along with Greenwich, co-sponsors are leagues of the Bridgeport area, Darien, Fairfield, New Canaan, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Stamford, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.

The afternoon’s format will include questions collected in writing from the audience and others prepared by league members. All questions will be presented by the moderator, Stamford’s Kay Maxwell, a former president of the League of Women Voters of the United States and currently executive director of the Stamford-based World Affairs Forum.

The race is a rematch of the 2010 election that saw Mr. Himes earn his second term in office. While that year was a historically good one for Republicans winning congressional races, Mr. Himes was able to defeat Mr. Debicella. Now the two are facing off once again as Mr. Himes seeks his fourth term, and while the conventional wisdom is that Mr. Himes enjoys a lead in this race, Mr. Debicella claimed on Sunday at the Cos Cob Republican Club clambake that recent polling has the two of them in a dead heat.

For additional information about the debate, visit the website of the League of Women Voters of Connecticut at Lwvct.org or call debate facilitator Burnett at 203-637-9244 or the league office at 203-288-7996.

There are two other events planned. The World Affairs Forum will sponsor a debate the next day, Monday, Oct. 20, in Stamford. The final debate will be held in Norwalk on Tuesday, Oct. 28, sponsored by the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce; Cablevision will sponsor that event.

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