Anti-Semitic images in a campaign mailer

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The Republican candidate in the 9th State Senate District is apologizing for a mailer that many people on both sides of the aisle found offensive.

The mailer from the campaign of Republican Senate candidate Ed Charamut arrived in mailboxes just
days after the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. It includes an altered image of Democratic State Senate candidate Matt Lesser grinning and holding several hundred dollar bills. 

(Photo: Mark Davis / WTNH)

Lesser, who’s running for the State Senate seat that includes Rocky Hill, Cromwell, Newington and parts of Middletown and Wethersfield, was joined by leaders of multiple faiths Wednesday who condemned the mailer as targeting a Jewish candidate with anti-Semitic imagery.

“His mailer played on deeply disturbing images of anti-Semitism that have attacked the Jewish people for hundreds of years,” said Lesser.

Steve Ginsburg of the Anti Defamation League noted that the ADL traditionally does not speak
out in favor or against candidates. He added, “But in this situation, with the juxtaposition of money and a Jewish candidate in this mailer, that suggests an age-old anti-Semitic trope and so we had real concerns about it.”

After originally defending the mailer, Charamut is now apologizing. He declined an on camera interview,
issuing a statement via e-mail, saying, in part;

“…it was never our intention for the mailer to be anything more than a reflection of Mr. Lesser’s policy record. However, it is clear now that the imagery could be interpreted as anti-Semitic, and for that we deeply apologize.”

After initially dismissing the criticism of the mailer, State Republican Party Chairman J.R. Romano has now said the mailer cannot be justified and should be recognized as offensive.

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