Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie
Bob Stefanowski making a pitch for the Independent Party line (Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie)

HARTFORD, CT — (Updated with CT Realtors debate) Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski agreed Monday to a schedule of five debates one fewer than his Democratic opponent.

Ned Lamont, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, will participate in the five Stefanowski agreed to and one more that Stefanowski declined to attend on Sept. 5.

Lamont sought to convince Stefanowski to participate in a Sept. 5 debate sponsored by the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges, Fox 61 and the CT Mirror, but to no avail.

At an unrelated press event on Tuesday, Lamont said this about Stefanowski skipping the Sept. 5th debate. “If he doesn’t want to join me on the 5th – I’m ready to go. I’ll be there.”

The Sept. 5 debate will still be held at the University of Saint Joseph without Stefanowski.

Oz Griebel and Rod Hanscomb are petitioning their way onto the ballot and have yet to qualify. It should be clear in the next few days whether other candidates will qualify for the ballot.

On Monday, Stefanowski indicated he was looking forward to the debates, saying “Over the past few months I have appreciated the opportunity to share my plans to lower taxes, spur economic growth and help Connecticut recover from the disastrous policies of Governor Malloy, and I look forward to continuing to share that message with voters all across the state.”

Stefanowski and Lamont will participate in five debates: one on Sept. 12 sponsored by the Day and WTNH, another sponsored by the CT Realtors on Sept. 17, one on Sept. 26 sponsored by the University of Connecticut and WFSB, another on Oct. 18 hosted by the Connecticut Association of Broadcasters, and one on Oct. 30 sponsored by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.

In 2010, Republican Tom Foley and Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy debated six times. In 2014, Foley agreed to five televised debates and declined to participate in three debates.