Foley, McKinney Face Off in Republican Primary Debate
The two Republican candidates for Connecticut governor faced off in a primary debate on Thursday at The Hartford Courant.
Greenwich businessman Tom Foley, the party’s endorsed candidate, and Senate Minority Leader John McKinney of Fairfield met in a debate sponsored by the newspaper and FoxCT. While not open to the general public, the event was live-streamed and will be broadcast on Sunday, July 20 at 10:00 am on Fox CT’s “Political Power Hour.”
Foley, a businessman and former U.S.ambassador to Ireland, narrowly lost to Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy in 2010.
One topic of discussion was guns. In April, Malloy signed a bill banning the possession and sale of assault weapons and large capacity magazines in Connecticut. Foley said the state needs to do more to address mental health. "The resources simply aren't there for families that have mental health challenges," he said. "We've seen all across the country, not just in Newtown, that most of these tragedies, with multiple murders, are the result of people with mental health issues."
John McKinney is the Republican senate minority leader, representing the district of Newtown. He said he would not repeal Malloy's gun law. "I was with them at the firehouse that day," he said. "I shared the pain with those families when they were told their kids weren't coming back. I'm proud that I'm the only voice that they have in the state senate, and I've been their voice."
The candidates also discussed education and the Common Core standards, which establish benchmarks in reading and math.
Teachers have criticized the plan, saying it deprives them of classroom flexibility. McKinney made his stance on Common Core clear. "Yes, I will stop Common Core," he said. "As governor, I will end it in the state of Connecticut. Our education decisions need to be made at the local level. We need the input from teachers, administrators, and parents in the school system."
At least a dozen states nationwide have introduced legislation to repeal Common Core.
The two candidates are competing in the August 12 primary. The winner will face Malloy in the November general election.
Read tweets about the debate below:
Tom Foley and John McKinney start whacking one another early, with Foley accusing McKinney of raising taxes.— Daniela Altimari (@capitolwatch) July 17, 2014
QA on specific ideas on how to cut spending Foley says would hold spending flat, that that would be an 8 % cut— Nancy Schoeffler (@nschoeffler) July 17, 2014
Okay now McKinney is getting angry. "You can't lower taxes without reducing state spending..."— Susan Bigelow (@whateversusan) July 17, 2014
McKinney -- got first job at 15. Foley: I've had success but descended from Irish immigrants— Nancy Schoeffler (@nschoeffler) July 17, 2014
McKinney says he worked as dishwasher in high school, Foley says he's worked hard and been lucky. "I find I connect very well w/ everybody."— Daniela Altimari (@capitolwatch) July 17, 2014
Next question on gun control. Foley dodges specifics of how he would change the law, McKinney says he wouldn't change it.— Hugh McQuaid (@NewsHugh) July 17, 2014
McKinney says he'll end Common Core in Connecticut.— Daniela Altimari (@capitolwatch) July 17, 2014
Foley says McKinney voted for Malloy's ed bill, which brought us Common Core. McKinney says it's not true: lawmakers didn't vote on policy— Daniela Altimari (@capitolwatch) July 17, 2014
McKinney says charter schools should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act— Hugh McQuaid (@NewsHugh) July 17, 2014
Foley on charter schools.many in CT are doing a good job. McKinney says recent scandal shows failure of Malloy admin.— Nancy Schoeffler (@nschoeffler) July 17, 2014
On tolls: McKinney doesn't want them, thinks no one will use busway.— Susan Bigelow (@whateversusan) July 17, 2014
Foley called McKinney Gov. McKinney. Has he conceded?— Bob Englehart (@BobEnglehart) July 17, 2014
Candidates asked if they back legalizing marijuana: Both say no and describe marijuana as a "gateway drug."— Daniela Altimari (@capitolwatch) July 17, 2014
Neither Foley nor McKinney want to answer question on Hobby Lobby ruling but McKinney says he has record of protecting women's rights.— Hugh McQuaid (@NewsHugh) July 17, 2014
Should we take in migrant kids from Central America?— Carolyn Lumsden CT (@CarolynLumsden) July 17, 2014
McKinney: It's a federal problem.
Foley: agrees. but surprised at malloy's quick no.
This report includes information from The Associated Press.