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Candidates Tout Job Growth Plans



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Candidates Tout Job Growth Plans

STAMFORD (AP) — The five men hoping to become Connecticut’s next governor all agree job creation and reducing spending need to be the state’s top priorities.

The two Democrats and three Republicans appeared Tuesday at a forum in downtown Stamford, where they all acknowledged that the winner of November’s election will have a ton of work ahead of him.

“The state faces many challenges, but let us not stand here and tell you that these problems are going to be fixed overnight,” said Republican candidate and Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele.

The five candidates are gearing up for a primary on August 10.

Republican business development executive Oz Griebel summed up the theme of the governor’s next four years as “jobs, jobs and jobs.”

Griebel said his campaign planned to increase national and international business recruiting, as well as reinvest in state assets, such as the UConn Health Center, to increase employment opportunities.

“Unless Connecticut has a hungry governor, there are 49 other states out there that do and will come into this state and recruit our companies,” he said.

Democratic businessman Ned Lamont said he would emphasize helping small and midsized businesses expand to hire more people. He also said he would push for health and nursing care reforms and called improving the status of Connecticut’s larger cities is another priority.

“Our cities, Bridgeport, Hartford and New Haven, used to be three of the most prosperous cities in the world,” said Lamont. “Connecticut will never be great again until we bring back our cities.”

Both Republican businessman Tom Foley and former Democratic Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy called for improving public education as a way to help the state’s economy.

Malloy, the Democrat-endorsed candidate, said he would stop state borrowing, cut the size of the state government, and combine state departments.

“I want to take on the problems of Connecticut and wrestle them to the ground,” he said.

Foley, who received the Republican endorsement, told the audience he felt it was possible to solve the state’s budget deficit without new taxes and said he would look for new sources of revenue to help make it possible.

“I don’t think we are collecting nearly enough money from Uncle Sam,” he said. “The Foley administration will work extremely hard to make sure we are getting every nickel from Washington that we are entitled to.”

Fedele said closing the state’s student achievement gap and creating more jobs will ultimately lead to less crime.

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