Gubernatorial candidates look to keep college grads in Connecticut, debate at UConn

In this July 18, 2018 photo, Oz Griebel, an independent candidate for governor in Connecticut, and his campaign finance director Kate Careb, right, greet voter Barbara "Bobbie" Seebeck of Groton while campaigning in New London, Conn. Seebeck said she has typically voted Republican, but likes the idea of supporting an independent this year. Independent candidate campaigns are working together, across state lines, to get their candidates elected in an era of hyper-partisanship. (AP Photo/Susan Haigh)

Gubernatorial candidates Ned Lamont (D) and Oz Griebel (I) discussed keeping Connecticut college graduates in the state during the first debate post-primaries at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford last night.

Two University of Saint Joseph students had the opportunity to ask the candidates questions, including what they would do to assist Connecticut college graduates in terms of employment.

“We absolutely have to do a better job of partnering between our colleges and our employers,” Lamont said. “We have thousands of really good-paying jobs...these are Connecticut jobs for Connecticut families. Shame on us that we didn’t take this opportunity (before).”

Griebel had a message similar to Lamont’s.

“I’ve always believed there needs to be a tighter relationship between higher education and employers,” Griebel said. “We’ve got tremendous opportunity. We need to reignite confidence in business owners and business leaders so the jobs they have stay here.”

On Sept. 26, WFSB will host a debate at the University of Connecticut. The debate will be held at Jorgensen Auditorium and will begin at 7 p.m.

“The University of Connecticut is delighted to host this fall’s gubernatorial debate with our partners at WFSB,” UConn President Susan Herbst said.  “It will give our students and the state the opportunity to hear directly from the candidates as they discuss the issues that are so vital to Connecticut’s future. We are very much looking forward to it.”

UConn students said they welcome the opportunity to see the debate.

“I (am) very excited to see Bob Stefanowski (debate) Ned Lamont,” third-semester undeclared major Graham Rider said.  “I personally (am) more of a Bob supporter as Ned seems a bit too much like Malloy for my liking.”

It is unclear whether or not Griebel will be in attendance, but Stefanowski and Lamont are both expected to partake. Stefanowski did not participate in the debate last night. 

The missing major-party candidate was addressed by debate moderator John Dankosky of Connecticut Public Radio before the debate even began.

“We extended an invitation to Republican Bob Stefanowski to debate, but he declined our invitation,” Dankosky said.

Stefanowski’s campaign told the CT Mirror that the Wednesday after Labor Day was too soon to have a debate.


“Over the past few months, I have appreciated the opportunity to share my plans to lower taxes, spur economic growth and help Connecticut recover from the disastrous policies of Governor Malloy, and I look forward to continuing to share that message with voters all across the state,” Stefanowski said in an emailed statement to the CT Mirror.


Luke Hajdasz is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at luke.hajdasz@uconn.edu.