HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Press advocates are criticizing a Connecticut gubernatorial campaign for briefly blocking two journalists from a hotel ballroom where the candidate and others were awaiting election results.

The Hearst Connecticut Group says Republican Bob Stefanowski's campaign staff blocked a reporter and photographer from entering, citing objections to the group's coverage. They were provided with credentials Tuesday night after journalists from other outlets protested. Stefanowski lost the election to Democrat Ned Lamont.

Bruno Matarazzo, president of the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists, said candidates "don't have the right to decide who gets to cover them."

Matt DeRienzo, a vice president of news and digital content for Hearst's Connecticut newspapers, said in an editorial the news outlets standing together was a proud moment for the state's journalism community.

A message seeking comment was left with the Stefanowski campaign.

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