It was a big day for Republican candidates for office Sunday as the state political talk shows coincidentally featured gubernatorial candidates Tom Foley and Oz Griebel, state attorney general candidate Martha Dean and 1st district congressional candidate Ann Brickley.

Tom Foley. The frontrunner in the race for the Republican nomination for governor has had a difficult few weeks. After revelations about two arrests in his past (one connected to an alleged case of domestic violence with a motor vehicle), Foley’s been on the defensive. Although the charges in both cases were dropped, his Republican rivals don’t seem anywhere near ready to drop the topic.

Channel 3’s “Face the State” fill-in host Susan Raff did an impressive job not letting Foley skate on the topic. The result was Foley still trying to dismiss the arrests as “minor incidents,” long ago, but promising to pro-actively seek the unsealing of the court documents.

Raff also pressed Foley on how he would differ from Gov. Rell, a fellow Republican. Foley, after the prerequisite declaration of friendship with Rell, said in essence, Rell lacked vision in her years as governor. Some candor is nice and in this case, accurate.

Raff also shined in handling the appearance of Richard Hayber, the attorney for dismissed state Department of Transportation Commissioner Joe Marie and reporter Keith Phanuef. Hayber reiterated The Shad’s thought that there are very few ways Rell (and bully-in-chief Lisa Moody) could have handled this situation worse. Rell-Moody apparently offered Marie something (confidentiality) they may not have been legally able to provide (because of Freedom of Information laws). The Marie story isn’t over. Nor, one suspects, is the Rell administration’s total lack of credibility on this issue.

Oz Griebel. The economic development professional and overall chamber of commerce type appeared on Tom Monahan’s “Connecticut Newsmakers” on NBC-Connecticut (Channel 30). Griebel is a bit on the sidelines as Fedele and Foley bludgeon each other. He continues to tout his endorsements from top Republican state legislators.

Martha Dean. The Republican party-endorsed candidate for attorney general joined host Laurie Perez on FOX-61’s “The Real Story.” Dean scares me. Nothing else will be written here for fear Dean is packing heat.

Ann Brickley. She also joined the consistently prepared Perez on TRS. The Republican candidate for Connecticut’s 1st Congressional District was the pleasant surprise of the weekend. She is well-spoken, has impressive experience, made some sense and has absolutely no chance of unseating incumbent US Rep. John Larson.

The final guest on TRS was Hartford Courant columnist Kevin Rennie. He turned in such a disjointed, nonsensical effort it’s hard to choose his worst moment—his ad hominem attack on Democratic lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Mary Glassman or his success in turning Laurie Perez into Desiree Fontaine in a silly analogy about Tom Foley’s past arrests.

Using a halting, pause-filled style, Rennie savaged Glassman, calling her “…just a disaster” and “bumbling” among other things. He then went on to use Perez in an analogy, asking her to suppose she was arrested and had to spend the night in jail. He was clumsily trying to make the point that Foley should have better recollection of his real arrests. Way to ingratiate yourself to the host.

Rennie should check his DVR. The only way he gets into television is if he unscrews the back of one and crawls in. However, he is entitled to his opinion and his column is a must-read every Sunday in The Courant.