Both camps have said creating jobs in employment-starved Connecticut will be their top priority. Both men point to their experience as a reason to believe they are the one to use that experience to create jobs. That’s where the similarities stop and the debate begins.

Fueled by reports that cite state labor statistics, Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Ned Lamont is calling on rival and party-endorsed candidate Dan Malloy to stop saying 5,000 jobs were created on his watch as Stamford’s mayor. Lamont wants Malloy to pull television ads in which he makes that claim. Of course, Malloy has no intention of doing that and says he stands by the 5,000 jobs figure.

The Hartford Courant reported that Stamford actually lost jobs during Malloy’s tenure. Anyone who has dealt with statistics and with political campaigns knows that both can be true. The state labor statistics do show that Stamford had a net loss of jobs while Malloy was in office. But they also show that depending on where you draw the line during Malloy’s time as mayor, 5,000 jobs were created.

In the bigger picture, all this leads to a bigger debate on job creation which is good for the voters in deciding which candidate to back in the August 10th primary. All the candidates for governor (Lamont, Malloy and Republicans Tom Foley, Michael Fedele and Oz Griebel) will be at what will be a potentially explosive forum today hosted by the Stamford Chamber of Commerce.