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Gubernatorial candidates talk Day 1; reflect on grueling campaign

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HARTFORD -- The candidates for Governor are just about 24 hours away from the finish line. They can see the finish line, and they are sprinting toward it with no rest. They crisscrossed the state and they all told me they won’t stop shaking hands to earn votes.

From a diner in East Haven, to a victory headquarters in Old Saybrook, to a Main Street stroll in Middletown. Different campaign styles again contrast different governing visions. Griebel, Lamont and Stefanowski are all confident they’ll be the next tenant under the gold dome. They reflected on a grueling campaign.

“I’ve loved every second of it,” said Ned Lamont. “I’m happy it’s coming to an end.” Bob Stefanowski said, “It’s been a terrific experience, it really has. I’m looking forward to governing.” “There’s a privilege in campaigning because you get to meet people. You know how strong this state is,” said Oz Griebel.

We asked the candidates what they’ve learned. “That’s a great question Matt,” said Stefanowski. “I’ve got more stamina than I thought,” said Stefanowski. “I think I have learned every day why I care so deeply about this state,” said Lamont. Oz Griebel said, “You have to keep a think skin. Not take anything personally when people say your stealing votes or all this other who ha you gotta live with.”

And if there’s anything they would change. “Would we have liked to get the signatures sooner, sure. We’ve said that from the beginning. Would we have liked to raise more money, sure,” said Griebel.

We asked them what they would do Day 1. “Me reaching out to the leaders. Republican as well as Democratic,” said Lamont. “We gotta call a fiscal Emergency for Connecticut that first day. We’ve gotta have all the departments come in and start looking at the budget,” said Stefanowski.

And to say something nice about each other. “I think all three candidates want to do the right thing for the state, said Stefanowski. “He’s working his heart out to change the state and as I said today, I love his family. He’s got a great family. Would love to get to know his Dad,” said Lamont.

Oz Griebel is confident he’ll win. “If Putin and the Russians take over this election and deprive Monty and me of it then I will have that conversation and worry about that tomorrow but I remain confident that we win.”

Bob Stefanowski said he’ll be a uniter. “I’m looking forward to bringing the parties together. After tomorrow the partisanship is done. I’ve got Senator Lieberman helping me on transition.”

And Ned Lamont says he’ll lead by example.”A little different than the guy in the Governors mansion. My door is open. I’m going to share the credit. I’ll take the blame.”

Lamont and Stefanowski had their final debate on the radio this morning.

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