Last night’s hosted by the pitted current against political novice .
Both had a chance to introduce themselves and then it was onward and forward with questions posed by media event sponsors Brian Boyd of Zip06.com/The Sound and Steve Mazzacane from the Branford Seven. The three major topics of discussion, which we will dive into late this week are economic development, education and civility in town government.
A question was posed at each candidate who had two minutes to answer; the opposing candidate could respond for two minutes and then the candidate whom the original questions was posed to, had another minute to rebut. For the most part, the candidates stayed on time and respected each other’s turn to speak; the crowd, however, was not so forgiving.
Following the heated debated where McConnell was continually heckled by former Branford RTM member of the Democrat camp, McConnell said, “The heckling was fine because it showed the difference between us. Our party wouldn’t behave like that.” Lambert is known for flipping resident Wayne Cooke the bird at RTM meeting earlier this year.
DaRos responded, stating that he thought the heckling was even. “Debates are debates,” he said. “It’s a distraction,” he said of the heckling, “when you are up there. One side may have been louder than the other but even.”
McConnell said of the questions asked, “I think they were fair. I would have liked to talk more about economic development,” she said. “People in our election – the economy is so much on their minds and driving decision making at the booth.” McConnell furthered her push for economic discussion releasing her this morning.
Debating McConnell, DaRos said, “It went alright, I guess. I heard what I did or didn’t do. I didn’t hear what she was going to do.”
Before the debate, Ali Abulugma, a Democrat running for the first time for the RTM in the 3rd District said he was looking forward to the debate to hear DaRos speak. “He a star,” he commented.
Of McConnell, he said, “I’ve never heard or seen anything about her. She is new but I am new too.”
Following the debate, Abulugma said of McConnell, “I think she talks from feeling, not from practical; from experience. She has a nice speaking tenant.”
In the Italian American Club, which swelled with more than 100 people – mostly politicians – it was hard to find citizens who attended the debate with little agenda. Eileen McGlynn and her husband Derek were two of the few attendees that came out on a whim to hear the debate. “I don’t know why I wanted to come,” said Eileen, “but I just had to come.” Laughing she said, “I wanted to see Wayne Cooke in action.”
Eileen was let down because though was parked out front of the IA Club before, during and after the debate, the highly-charge and controversial citizen was not in attendance.
Eileen said she plans to vote republican but said she wanted to hear from McConnell more about what changes she was going to make.
The debate started with a moment of silence for former republican RTM member who passed away recently and then it was a near fist-to-cuffs for McConnell and a few democrats in the audience; the arguments between herself and DaRos were moderate.
Following the heated debate, in which McConnell could nary get a word in at times due to Lambert’s consistent interruptions, Lambert backed up her actions stating, “Well, I wonder where the republicans get their information because it doesn’t jive with what I know.”
Was she regretful for her consistent interruptions? Lambert laughed: “I am a 84-year-old mischief maker. I am also a descendent of an original settler and I was a government major at Smith College. I was also president of CT Now. Give me the right to do what I damn well please.” Lambert will not be seeking re-election for the RTM but will seek election as constable.
Stay with Branford Patch for more on the candidates’ talking points on economic development, education and civility in town government.