Connecticut residents are “dying for change,” Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski told more than 200 people Saturday morning, Nov. 3, at Grove Street Plaza in Darien.

They're tired of taxes spent, they're tired of the craziness,” Stefanowski told the lively crowd. The event was co-hosted by First Selectman Jayme Stevenson, State Rep. Terrie Wood and the Darien Republican Town Committee. 

Stefanowski, a Madison resident, is running against Democrat Ned Lamont and Independent Oz Griebel in Tuesday’s election.

He came to Darien with his wife Amy and their three daughters: Rachel, Lauren, and Megan.

Stefanowski said he has spoken with many Democrats who are not voting with their political party in the upcoming election.

“I’ve had at least 10 to 15 Democrats come up to me and say they've never voted Republican in their entire life but they’re voting Republican this time around because they want fundamental change this time,” he said.

Addressing the crowd, he talked about the importance of keeping people in Connecticut.

“We want to create the opportunities for kids today that we all had growing up,” he said.

What’s needed to keep people here?

According to Stefanowski, it’s “fundamentally structured tax reform” and “fundamentally structured smaller government.”

“We can absolutely do it,” he added, amidst clapping.

He referenced his disappointment with the current Connecticut governor, saying, “If you've been able to survive eight years with Dan Malloy, don't give up now.”

Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson, who also spoke at the event, said this election is “probably the most consequential state election in our lifetime.”

“As a mom and first selectman,” she said, “change is needed” and the “winds of change are in the air.”

Stevenson said she hears every day, in every group that she works with, the changes that “are needed and how people are impassioned to make sure that those changes happen.”

She added that change can “only” happen with a person like Stefanoski, “who is going to understand how to get into state government, cut our taxes and get our economy moving again.”

Chris Taylor, chairman of the Darien Republican Town Committee, told the Darien Times that the turnout went across party lines.

“It continues to show the level of enthusiasm, not only with Republican voters, but with independents and even across the aisle.”

He further said that voters in Darien and across the state “look at our flagging economy and recognize that they need sound leadership and fiscal prudence in leadership through Connecticut.”

Stefanowski is “listening to local voters” while taking “his message of growing jobs and cutting taxes across the state,” Taylor said.

Darien resident Wilda Rowe, who was at the event, said she wants to see Stefanowski “make Connecticut great again.”

“The amenities, choices, and proximity to the city only exist in Connecticut,” Rowe said. “Let’s save our state.”

Bob Eydt of Rowayton said Connecticut has a “real fiscal problem” that “can’t be solved” by raising taxes.

“All that does is discourage people and businesses from staying in the state,” Eydt said. “We need to encourage businesses to stay and to grow in Connecticut, and you don't do that by raising their taxes or imposing burdensome regulations.”

Like Eydt, Gaylen Nash of Rowayton, who is a realtor with William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty, also remarked on the number of people leaving the state.

She said “everyone” from New Canaan, Darien and Rowayton is putting their houses on the market.

“We have the highest number of homes that are for sale now than we’ve had for several years. Big businesses have left the state, such as GE, RBS and UBS,” Nash said. “There definitely is a problem with our taxes and with the health of our economy.”

In a prior statement, Darien resident Randy Klein, former chairman and current member of the Darien Democratic Town Committee, wrote that, in a statement sent to the Darien Times, Taylor called the Democratic Rally “fear mongering.”

“I’m not going to do that because we’re fortunate to live in a country where we all have a right to assemble, and we have a right to a free press,” Klein wrote. “Today, these and other human rights in the U.S. are being threatened by Republican Party policies led by Donald Trump.”

“Let’s be clear — local, state and federal Republican candidates and elected officials have not denounced the policies of Donald Trump,” Klein wrote. “Connecticut values are not Trump values. Darien values are not Trump values. On Election Day, the choice is clear to vote row A to protect Connecticut values.”

Help is absolutely on the way,” Stefanowski said, speaking to the crowd amidst loud clapping and cheering. “It starts on Tuesday. We are going to get this state turned around.”