The latest Connecticut gubernatorial TV debate was overshadowed by the elephant who was not in the room — Republican candidate Tom Foley.
Foley was a no show at WVIT’s 7 p.m. debate Thursday night even though the station left a seat on the stage open for him until 6:45. Foley’s campaign spokesman said he was instead taping a segment for a Sunday talk show on a rival TV station.
That left the stage to Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy and petitioning candidate Joe Visconti.
Tom Foley, the Republican candidate for governor in Connecticut, is expected to be a no show at tonight’s televised debate on Connecticut’s NBC affiliate. It’s the second debate in which all three candidates on the state’s gubernatorial ballot are invited.
He’s not taking part tonight because his campaign’s negotiation with the NBC affiliate did not go well, Foley said on WNPR’s Where We Live program on Wednesday.
With the race this tight, Quinnipiac Poll Director Douglas Schwartz says the conventional wisdom is that conservative third-party candidate Joe Visconti, who is coming in at 9 percent in the poll, is probably taking votes away from Republican Foley.
In this May 17, 2014 file photo, Joe Visconti, listens as votes are tallied at the Connecticut Republican Convention in Uncasville, Conn. Visconti submitted enough valid signatures by the Aug. 6 deadline to successfully petition his way onto the 2014 ballot for governor.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy took advantage of petitioning candidate Joe Visconti's first appearance at a gubernatorial debate to criticize his Republican opponent Tom Foley's position on Connecticut's gun control law.
The debate between the three candidates took place at the Garde Arts Center in New London on Thursday night.
Now that gun rights advocate Joseph Visconti has qualified to be on the ballot for Connecticut governor in November, Republican Tom Foley may be facing some competition for voters concerned with that issue.
According to UConn political scientist Ron Schurin, Visconti now being in the race may force Foley to reach out to the right to keep gun rights voters from going to Visconti. This is something Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy might be able to exploit, Schurin said.