Democratic candidates battle during first debate for governor

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NEW HAVEN -

The Democratic debate for governor kicked off Thursday night between Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont and Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim.

The event took place at the Shubert Theater in New Haven.

Lamont clinched the party's endorsement at the convention in May.

Debate topics included gun reform, education, taxes and how to keep people in Connecticut.

MORE: Lamont takes on Ganim in first Democratic gubernatorial debate

The mayor’s criminal record was also a hot topic.

“Every saint has a past and I believe and hope that every sinner has a future,” Ganim said.

Mayor Ganim tried to portray Lamont as an out-of-touch candidate who doesn't understand the plight of the middle and lower class. 

“They gave you a second chance, now fight for them, complete your term, turn around Bridgeport,” Lamont says. “I would like as your governor to work with you every day to make Bridgeport an incredible success so that each and every one of those people gets a fair chance."

RELATED: Democrat Ned Lamont releases first campaign ad for governor run

There are two more Democratic debates scheduled before the primary in August.

The second debate is expected to take place Wednesday, July 18.

Republican candidates also debated Thursday night.

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