In 1986, Connecticut Republicans were hoping to snap a three-election losing streak and take back the governorship, something they hadn’t won since 1970. Popular Governor William O’Neill was seeking a second full term (he finished Ella Grasso’s second term before being elected in his own right in 1982) and was going on six years as Governor.
The GOP nominee was an historic choice: State Representative Julie Belaga of Westport. With the economy humming, Belaga faced an uphill battle in her quest to become the first Republican woman elected Governor of Connecticut. Jodi Rell would accomplish that milestone, 20 years later.
In this week’s Face the State flashback, we dig into the Channel 3 archives to take you back a quarter century, to October 16, 1986, when O’Neill and Belaga faced off in the first of five debates. The reporter that day was the moderator of Face the State, Marla Romash.
You can watch that report this Sunday morning at 11, only on Channel 3. O’Neill went on to easily defeat Belaga, and that Republican losing streak continued until John Rowland was elected in 1994.
update: here is the video