Most delegates threw their support to Bob Stefanowski, a business executive, as the Republican candidate for governor at the party’s convention at Foxwoods Resort Casino on Friday night.
Stefanowski said he was tired of the government failing Connecticut – a state that no longer resembled the one he grew up in.
“We’ve got a problem with crumbling infrastructure that most states would be embarrassed by,” he said. “Families are forced to leave Connecticut because they simply can’t afford to live here anymore.”
The upcoming election will be ‘historic’ for the state, he said, because increasing numbers of young voters have been participating in Republican events.
“We are approaching the best opportunity in our lifetime to make substantive change,” Stefanowski said. “Connecticut has needed a change for decades.”
The honor of being governor comes with responsibility, said Stefanowski, who promised to put “every ounce” of effort into the job.
“I will put my blood, my sweat and my tears into [this campaign] and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
Stefanowski emphasized that he wants the state to appreciate the fundamental values that make the United States of America the “greatest country on Earth.”
“Connecticut residents [must have] personal freedom, individual liberty and a smaller government that allows residents to live their lives as they see fit,” he said.
Stefanowski told delegates that the coronavirus shutdown caused children to lose months of critical learning and social development in the classroom, but that as governor, he would work to reverse the trend.
“I want to provide world-class services to invest in education and give people the tools they need to prosper,” he noted.
Stefanowski said that restoring integrity to government would be crucial.
“They’ve used COVID and a variety of other excuses to invade every nook and cranny of our lives,” he said. “It’s time for them to get out.”
State Rep. Laura Devlin, who represents Fairfield and Trumbull, received the nomination for lieutenant governor, as the sole nominee.
Devlin spoke out against increasing taxes, and said that current surpluses should be returned to the people of Connecticut.
“$1.8 billion tax hikes in year one and billions in surplus and rainy day fund — more money is owed to the people of Connecticut, but the government is not willing to do it,” she said.
Devlin advocated for a team that listens to the people. “We need a strong voice to restore trust, accountability and transparency to the state government.”
Devlin said she and Stefanowski believe the state government “should and can make dollars stretch further.”
“We know state government needs to be more honest and more accountable.”
Devlin told delegates that parents should have a say in their kids’ education and warned that crime rates were creating chaos in communities – and urged attendees to go out and help the ticket win in November.
“Connecticut has a bright future, but to get the job done, we have to win. We have to work together. Losing this race is not an option. We need to walk out of this convention together — so let’s go get ‘em!”