Bob Stefanowski, formerly a chief financial officer of UBS Investment Bank and a senior executive with General Electric, won the Connecticut Republican nomination for governor Tuesday.
Stefanowski defeated four other candidates, including Mark Boughton, who was endorsed by the state Republican Party.
During an interview in July, Stefanowski, 56, told Breitbart News Connecticut needs to get rid of its income tax which, he said, is “choking” the state.
“I worked with Art Laffer for about 15 years, and we sat down with Larry Kudlow and Steve Moore,” he said. “Connecticut is probably the perfect example of the Laffer curve, where we’re taxing people to the point where they’re leaving the state. We have to turn it around.”
“We’re the only state that has both a gift tax and an estate tax,” Stefanowski added. “We’ve got a higher corporate tax relative to our neighbors. So, my plan calls for getting rid of the estate tax – Day One – phasing down the corporate income tax to make us more competitive and getting rid of the state income tax.”
Stefanowski embraced President Donald Trump’s approach to economic policy.
“Look at what he’s done!” he said. “He’s recut all these bad deals Obama made, he’s put in an effective tax policy which has stimulated – we could use some of that in Connecticut! It’s a difference between a politician and a business person who knows how to negotiate, knows how to make tough decisions, knows how to lower taxes – all things that are absolutely applicable to Connecticut.”
Asked about current Gov. Dannel Malloy’s cozy relationship with the unions in the state, Stefanowski said, “This is why we need a business person. We have a speaker of the state House in Connecticut who’s on the payroll of the unions – I mean, none of this stuff would ever happen in the private sector!”
Stefanowski explained the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the Janus case will help Connecticut.
“People are no longer forced to pay union dues – it’s going to take a lot of power away from the leadership,” he said.
“And if we have to go to the courts, I will,” he asserted. “We can exercise the sovereign power of the state – we would likely win in the courts. But, I’ve found that in negotiating you need a credible threat. And you need a business person who’s not so concerned about getting elected again as they are for doing what’s the right thing for the state. That’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
Stefanowski, who fought off criticism for registering as a Democrat and then re-registering as a Republican when he ran for governor, told Breitbart News he is focused primarily on economic issues.
“The economy is 70 percent of what people care about most,” he said. “That’s right in my strike zone.”
“The second issue is sanctuary cities – which I’m absolutely against,” the nominee asserted. “You can’t pick and choose what federal laws you’re going to follow. We need to start shutting off funding to those cities that aren’t following the law.”
Stefanowski states he is a “strong supporter of the Second Amendment” as well.
“To me, the issue is mental health,” he said. “It’s not law-abiding gun owners, it’s mental health, keeping guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, and protecting our kids in school.”
Stefanowski criticized what he called Malloy’s “persecution” of “law-abiding gun-owners in this state – for no reason whatsoever.”
When it comes to abortion, Stefanowski zeroed in on the issue of parental consent for the procedure for minors. Currently, the state does not require parental consent for young girls to have an abortion – though it does require parents’ consent for body piercings.
“I am fully in support of parental consent for abortion,” he told Breitbart News. “If you get your ears pierced here, you need parental consent. A major decision like an abortion, parents should absolutely be involved. And if a bill came to my desk for parental consent, I would sign it.”
Stefanowski will face Ned Lamont, who won the Democratic nomination Tuesday night over Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim, a convicted felon.
According to his website and the Hartford Courant, Lamont stands for establishing tolls on the state’s highways, addressing human-induced climate change, more restrictive gun laws, investing more money in public schools, a $15 minimum wage, paid family and medical leave, and raising taxes on the wealthy.
Malloy – one of the least popular governors in the country (71 percent disapproval) – decided not to run again earlier this year and did not endorse either Democrat in the race. In his wake, Malloy leaves a five-billion-dollar budget deficit and $86 billion in unfunded pension and healthcare liabilities.
The governor tied whichever Republican would win the nomination to Trump.
“There’s no longer a Republican Party,” Malloy said after he cast his vote Tuesday, reported CT Mirror. “It’s the party of Trump. I think that whatever Republican wins, Trump wins today. I know some of these guys. They know better. They have turned themselves over to the party of Trump. They have become Trump-like, perhaps mini-me Trumps. And that’s a disturbing reality.”