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Tom Foley Won't Join Final Primetime Connecticut Gubernatorial Debate

Tim Cook
The Day

Governor Dannel Malloy and petitioning candidate Joe Visconti will meet Thursday night at 7:00 pm for a live forum hosted by NBC Connecticut. Republican nominee Tom Foley is the only candidate who will not be on stage.

During an appearance on WNPR’s Where We Live Wednesday, Foley said his staff found NBC "difficult to communicate with." He added that "several weeks went by without having them respond to some inquires we had, and we thought they were trying to game us a little bit." 

Debate moderator Gerry Brooks disagreed with that assessment. He said NBC was "in constant touch with the Foley campaign and they have never articulated their reason for not appearing tonight."

Listen to Foley's comments and Brooks's response Thursday on WNPR's Where We Live:

Instead of debating, Foley will tape an episode of WFSB's "Face the State."

Foley campaign spokesman Mark McNulty maintained it was a time issue. "After going back and forth on the terms of the debate which have been articulated to NBC management we were not able to come to terms in a timely fashion with NBC," McNulty said in an email to WNPR.

"We disagreed on thresholds, moderators and panelists," McNulty added. "We did not hear back from NBC for two weeks. This is a campaign and debates take up a lot of time - we had to make a decision NBC was either unwilling or unable to make."

Instead of appearing on NBC, McNulty said Foley will tape an episode of "Face the State," which airs on rival network WFSB.

Brooks said in case Foley changes his mind, three stools will remain on the set until 15 minutes before the NBC broadcast starts.

All three candidates were on stage for one debate, hosted by WNPR, CPTV and The Day of New London earlier this month.

Tucker Ives is WNPR's morning news producer.

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