Calendar for debates in all races set

Greenwich is facing a full ballot with a full slate of Democrats facing off against town Republicans for state races and two major congressional elections set for Nov. 6.

And through the next few weeks, those candidates will be participating in several debates and forums. These events will be both local and throughout the state.

Traditionally the Greenwich League of Women Voters has held debates for the state representative races, but this year none is scheduled. Greenwich Democrats had asked for changes in the format, including having three separate debates for the three state representative races instead of having them all at one event, and could not reach an agreement with the league on them. Democrats subsequently suggested another debate format, which would have been moderated by the Greenwich Post, to the town Republican Party, but an agreement could not be reached there either and currently no other debates will be held.


There will be a Greenwich League of Women Voters debate, though, for the race for the State Senate’s 36th District. Republican incumbent State Sen. L. Scott Frantz is running for his third term against Democrat Daniel Dauplaise. That debate will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m. in Town Hall.

State Rep. Livvy Floren (R-149) will also face off with her Democratic challenger John Blankley next week. The two have a forum co-sponsored by three Greenwich homeowners’ associations in their district, Round Hill, Northwest and Northeast, set for Thursday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. at the Round Hill Community House at 397 Round Hill Road. Mr. Frantz and Mr. Dauplaise will also take part in the forum. Refreshments will be served at 6:30 prior to the event.

Coverage of both events will appear in the Post’s Oct. 11 edition.

While there are no scheduled debates in the 150th or 151st districts, all candidates are expected to attend a forum put together by the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 17. In addition to Ms. Floren, Mr. Blankley, Mr. Frantz and Mr. Dauplaise, the candidates for the 151st District, incumbent State Rep. Fred Camillo will be joined by his Democratic challenger David Rafferty and by the two candidates, Republican Stephen Walko and Democrat Stephanie Paulmeno, for the 150th District, which is a seat being opened by State Rep. Lile Gibbons’ retirement.

Marcia O’Kane, the chamber’s executive director, has stressed that this is not a debate but a “discussion about important items occurring in the town of Greenwich.” The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 8:30 a.m. at Town Hall.

There are four debates scheduled in the race for the U.S. Congress. U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-4), a Cos Cob resident, is running for a third term in office and is facing Westport Republican Steve Obsitnik. They will have one local debate, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency in Old Greenwich. That debate is being sponsored by the World Affairs Forum and will focus entirely on foreign policy questions. Coverage of that debate will be in the Oct. 18 edition of the Post.

But there are three other debates that will likely focus more on local and economic questions. Mr. Obsitnik and Mr. Himes will face off on Oct. 18 at noon for the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce at the Norwalk Inn and Conference Center, for the Wilton League of Women Voters at Wilton High School at 4 p.m. and on Nov. 2, just four days before the election, for the American Association of Retired People (AARP) in Bridgeport at the Holiday Inn at 1070 Main Street.

Several debates have also been scheduled for the U.S. Senate race between Republican Linda McMahon and Democrat U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy (D-4) and if their campaign commercials are any indication, these could be debates where rhetorical fireworks are set off. Polls have shown an extremely tight race to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) with large numbers of undecided voters, making the debates extremely important. The two will first face off on Sunday, Oct. 7, on an edition of Face the State for WFSB in Hartford, which is seen on channel 3 locally. This is set to be a one-hour, commercial-free debate live on the air at 11 a.m.

There is no local debate for the two candidates but Greenwich residents willing to travel may see Ms. McMahon, a Greenwich resident, and Mr. Murphy at the University of Connecticut on Thursday, Oct. 11, in a debate sponsored by Fox 61 and the Hartford Courant; Monday, Oct. 14, in the Garde Theater in New London; and Thursday, Oct. 18, before the Connecticut Broadcasters Association in Hartford.

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