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'Trumponomics' Factor: Stefanowski Treads Fine Line

Republican Bob Stefanowski
Republican Bob Stefanowski Photo Credit: WCTX screengrab

Will President Trump help or hurt Bob Stefanowski in the Tuesday, Nov. 6 election for governor?

In campaign ads and televised debates, Stefanowski has managed to display himself as an independent thinker. But the former corporate executive has not been shy about espousing economic policies that resemble Donald Trump's, like scorning taxes and tolls.

Also like Trump, the 56-year-old Stefanowski of Madison often fails to provide details to back up his rhetoric, according to his 64-year-old Democratic challenger Ned Lamont of Greenwich.

During gubernatorial debates, Stefanowski passed on opportunities to grade Trump on his job performance, although the Madison resident gave the president an "A" during the Republican Party primary race.

Trump has praised Stefanowski, but he has not come to Connecticut to stump for him, like he has for about a dozen other gubernatorial candidates in recent weeks.

Lamont, meanwhile, enjoyed a campaign visit from former Vice President Joe Biden last week.

Stefanowski repeatedly tries to paint Lamont as a "clone" of outgoing Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, whose economic policies have resulted in higher taxes, a $2.6 billion state budget deficit and low public-approval ratings. The Republican says a vote for Lamont means 'more of the same" Malloy thinking.

In this column in the New York Post, which in a separate editorial endorsed Stefanowski on Wednesday, Oct. 31,  Betsy McCaughey wrote: "Stefanowski himself draws a clear line on Trump."

"On the social side, I’ve got three daughters, I don’t like the rhetoric, I don’t like the tone . . . but I’m not going to sit here and tell you his economic policy hasn’t worked because it has, and we could use some of that in Connecticut," Stefanowski said.

McCaughey, a senior fellow at the London Policy Center for Research, dubbed that "Trumponomics."

McCaughey opined that Stefanowski could launch a Connecticut tax rebellion that can be duplicated in other so-called blue states. "It’s certainly time," she wrote.

Under new federal tax rules, residents of high-tax states like Connecticut and New York can no longer deduct all of their state and local levies -- now capped at $10,000 annually.

Will Nutmeg State voters link that new economic pain to President Trump when they walk into the polling booth on Tuesday, Nov. 6? Or will stronger stock portfolios and the prospect of more jobs and less state taxes tip the election in Stefanowski's favor?

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