Himes, Arora, battle in Norwalk

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-Greenwich), left; Republican challenger Harry Arora, right. (Harold Cobin)

The election is Nov. 6.

NORWALK, Conn. – U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-Greenwich) and Republican challenger Harry Arora met Thursday for their second debate, this time in Norwalk.

The contentious back and forth early Thursday in the Norwalk Inn was sponsored by the Business Council of Fairfield County, the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Fairfield County and the Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce, and focused more on economic issues than Sunday’s League of Women Voters’ brawl in Wilton.

Video by Harold Cobin at end of story. 

Asked right off the bat about economic opportunity in Connecticut, Himes said Fairfield County is the economic engine of the state, with major companies such as Indeed.com headquartered here. Continued investment in transportation infrastructure is needed he said, highlighting what he has described as a strength of his 10 years in Congress, the funding he’s brought back for transportation issues.

“Net-net, we’re losing jobs,” Arora countered, arguing for deregulation with Himes referring in reply to the “brutal crisis in 2008” and touting his work in regulating the banking industry.

The country needs to invest in business formation, Arora said, going on to allege that Himes voted against bills that would have brought business Connecticut.  In response, Himes said that the unemployment rate has dropped here, with Arora replying, “Things are not great here.”

Interstate 95 is more congested than it was when Himes took office and there are less seats available on the trains during the morning rush hour, Arora said, with Himes advocating for an infrastructure bank as a resource for improvements and Arora countering that revenue is needed for a fund like that.

Other parts of the country are doing better, and companies are leaving Connecticut, Arora said.

Himes took exception to Arora’s later claim that he hasn’t kept his promises, pointing to federal funding for the Walk Bridge and for Washington Village.

Arora called tolls a regressive tax that impacts residents who make the least amount of money, with Himes countering that every state around Connecticut has tolls and Connecticut residents are paying for roads in New Jersey and New York, while residents of those states contributing nothing here.

“I’m sure there’s $2 trillion not being spent on infrastructure” thanks to the Republican tax bill, Himes said, and Arora attacked the figure, which came from the Congressional Budget Office, as being inaccurate.

A question about election security zeroed in on possible Russian interference, with Arora shifting the conversation to “information warfare,” alleging that large media outlets try to tip the scales to candidates they prefer. Himes called that a right wing trope and called newspapers a private enterprise, with the New York Times choosing to lean left and the Washington Post leaning right. Arora said he knows CNN is ignoring him out of a partisan agenda because he “feels it.”

The pair are set to focus on foreign policy in their third and final debate at 7 p.m. Monday in UCONN Stamford’s GenRe Auditorium, located at 1 University Place, Stamford.


Will Erdef October 26, 2018 at 12:02 pm

Listing to Representative Himes reminds me of how centrists Democrats once were – how did the party veer so far left?

Milton October 26, 2018 at 1:03 pm

Jimmy Himes is as liberal as they come. He just feigns moderate about every 2 years. The rest of the time he is voting lock step with Pelosi and the rest of the gang.

Himes supports open borders. He would love for the hoard of illegal immigrants on their way here now to come on in. That is, as long as they don’t try to settle near his well secured home in Greenwich.

Jim Himes does not represent the 4th district. He represents the Democratic political party

Bryan Meek October 27, 2018 at 8:58 am

Himes passed Dodd Frank legislation out of his committee and into law.

It made the cost of investment banking prohibitively expensive except for the $500 trillion deriviatives market.

Shortlly thereafter RBS / UBS / GE Capital began reducing investment banking activities and finally today there are about 200 people left working here in our district out of 20,000 used to be six figure jobs.

The results are crystal clear with the local real estate market crashing. Malloy lit the fire and Himes threw gas on it. Norwalk alone has lost $2 billion in property values since Himes was elected.

RayJ, regressive taxes are those who hurt the poor. Adding $2000 in tolls to our commutes will have damaging, lasting impacts on the state with no guarantees that they don’t {…} the money away on minior league baseball stadiums like they have been doing.

Edited to remove a vulgarity, a violation of the comment policy. https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/comment-guidelines/

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