Photos by Mara Lavitt and Arnold Gold

The man of the hour at the understated debate between Republican gubernatorial candidates Tom Foley and state Senate Minority Leader John McKinney wasn’t even in the room.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was invited to the Thursday event sponsored by Associated Builders and Contractors, but apparently never responded, according to the organizers.

It was the first one-on-one matchup between the two Republicans heading toward the Aug. 12 primary, after the third contender, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, dropped out.

The harshest criticism was about the governor’s first five program where millions are being bonded to convince businesses to come or stay in Connecticut, while some are just moving from one town to another.

Click here to continue reading Mary’s report.

CTNewsjunkie.com’s Christine Stuart moderated the debate sponsored by Associated Builders and Contractors.