Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz Credit: Courtesy of the ad

Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz released her first TV ad of the campaign season, touching on abortion rights, gun violence, and taking aim at Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski. 

The ad opens with a reminder to voters that “elections matter” and that if they re-elect her and Gov. Ned Lamont, then they will protect a women’s right to choose and keep in place strong gun violence prevention laws.

“The threats we face seem devastating. It’s why elections really matter,” Bysiewicz says. “And it’s why Ned Lamont and I are protecting reproductive freedoms and keeping our kids safe from gun violence.”

The ad pivots to focus on Stefanowski’s record, which consists solely of his run for governor in 2018.

“Bob Stefanowski was endorsed by Donald Trump,” Bysiewicz says in the ad. “He’s supported by extremists who fought to overturn Roe. He even got an A rating from the NRA.”

Those two claims are true.

Stefanowski, who didn’t vote in 2016 for President Donald Trump, was endorsed by the former president in a tweet following his endorsement during the 2018 primary.

He also received an AQ rating from the NRA, which is the highest rating given by the organization for a candidate who has not held elected office.

In 2018, when he received the rating, Stefanowski responded by saying, “I am honored to have received the highest rating possible from the NRA. Protecting our children and the hard working people of Connecticut is of the utmost importance. But our focus needs to be on mental health and keeping guns out of the hands of people who should not have them; not on persecuting law abiding gun owners like Governor Malloy has for the past eight years. I remain committed to protecting the Second Amendment with the same vigor I will protect the rest of the Constitution.”

Stefanowski has since softened his stance.

He has said he supports Connecticut’s current gun safety laws, including the universal background checks and limits on high-capacity magazines and military-style weapons imposed after the Sandy Hook school massacre.

As far as abortion is concerned, Stefanowski has said he supports the state’s current laws, but would like to see a parental notification requirement for younger women who haven’t been the victim of rape or incest.

“If Governor Lamont and Lt. Governor Bysewicz want to continue running a campaign from four years ago, maybe we can start by looking at what food, fuel, and family costs were four years ago and compare those to the prices that are crushing everyone in Connecticut today as a result of their higher taxes,” Liz Kurantowicz, an advisor to Stefanowski campaign, said.

Jake Lewis, a spokesman for the Lamont campaign, said elections have consequences.

“They’re the reason Connecticut has expanded protections for women and closed loopholes to increase gun safety for the last four years,” Lewis said. “At the ballot box this November, voters will have to make a choice: Do they want leaders who have shown up for them on everything from abortion access to gun safety? Or do they want to be governed by extremists trying to hide in plain sight?”