Sacred Heart University, WSHU and Hearst Connecticut Media Group to Host Gubernatorial Debates


The Hearst Connecticut Media Group, Sacred Heart University (SHU) and WSHU Public Radio are collaborating on gubernatorial candidate debates prior to the Aug. 14 primaries, as well as in advance of November’s general election.

Separate primary debates are planned for both the Democratic and Republican candidates, with each taking place at the Martire Business & Communications Center on the campus of Sacred Heart University at 5401 Park Avenue, Fairfield.

The Republican gubernatorial candidate debate is scheduled for Tuesday, July 24, beginning at 2 p.m.  Republican candidates who have confirmed their attendance are Mark Boughton, David Stemerman, Tim Herbst and Steve Obsitnik. Bob Stefanowski has been invited but has not committed to participating in the debate.

Both Ned Lamont and Joe Ganim have confirmed their participation in the Democratic gubernatorial candidate debate on Thursday, July 26, also beginning at 2 p.m.

The date for the debate prior to the general election has yet to be finalized, but that debate will take place at the Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts at SHU.

Moderating the debates will be Ken Dixon, Hearst Connecticut Media Group political editor and columnist.

Panelists questioning the candidates will be Gary Rose, professor and chair of the Department of Government, Politics and Global Studies at SHU; Ebong Udoma, senior political reporter at WSHU Public Radio; and Hearst Connecticut Media Group political reporter Kaitlyn Krasselt.

This is the first such collaboration for the three organizations.

“We view this as a great opportunity to work with well-regarded partners such as Sacred Heart University and WSHUPublic Radio,” said Paul Barbetta, president and group publisher of the Hearst Connecticut Media Group. “These events will serve the public interest by promoting critical debate prior to November’s gubernatorial election.”

“Part of our role as a University is to present programs that serve our local friends and neighbors as well as the SHU community. These debates definitely fall into this category. We are excited to collaborate with Hearst on this project and hope it will lead to future collaborations,” said SHU President John J. Petillo.

“It is our mission to provide our community with programming that contributes to informed public discourse,” said Tom Kuser, program director for WSHU Public Radio. “We are pleased at this opportunity to partner with Hearst Connecticut Media Group and Sacred Heart University in bringing important gubernatorial debates to Connecticut residents.”

The public is welcome to attend the primary debates, although seating is limited. The debates will be live-streamed on Hearst Connecticut’s multiple news websites, and available for viewing as video following the debates. WSHU Public Radio will air both debates live on 89.9FM and will re-broadcast them at 7 p.m. on all frequencies including 91.1FM and