One year after Capitol attack, Connecticut leaders throw political party jabs

Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Thursday marks one year since the deadly insurrection at the nation’s Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Democratic State Party Chair Nancy DiNardo says democracy was threatened that day. 

“Inspired by Donald Trump’s rhetoric, his supporters launched a violent riot,” DiNardo said.

State Democratic party leaders added Republicans established “the big lie” – claiming the election was stolen.

Mayor Luke Bronin of Hartford asked, “To Bob Stefanowski who seeks to establish himself as a standard-bearer. Will you condemn Donald Trump?”

Republican Party Chair Ben Proto said Democrats, including Gov. Ned Lamont, are scared.

“They’ve decided that Bob Stefanowski, for whatever reason, is their bogeyman,” Proto said. “It’s interesting given that Bob Stefanowski is not a candidate for governor or any other office at this time.”

Proto said blaming all Republicans for what happened in Washington, D.C. is silly.

“I understand why they look backwards because if they look forward, they see an abyss they’re falling into,” Proto said.

Republican Bob Stefanowski defended himself in a statement to News 8, saying, “As we come upon the one year anniversary of the tragedy at our U.S. Capitol building, we can all agree that whether it’s Washington, D.C. or Connecticut, violence is never the answer.  Each and every person found responsible for this tragedy should be held accountable to the full extent of the law. But while we can’t forget the way we all felt that day, President Biden won the election over a year ago. It’s time to move on from division and hyper partisanship and work together to provide the people of Connecticut with better public safety, a lower cost of living and a quality education for their kids.”

Democrats said the support of former President Donald Trump will be a campaign issue. State Representative Geraldo Reyes, the Democratic Chair of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, said Waterbury is surrounded by many Trump-leaning towns.

“Prospect still has rallies every weekend. Trump rallies. A year later,” Reyes said.

House Speaker Matt Ritter said every Republican looking to run for election next year has a question to answer.

“They have to decide is it him (Donald Trump), or should we begin to back more reasonable candidates?” Ritter said.

One Republican who has filed election paperwork to spend her own money exploring a run for governor is former Republican House Leader Themis Klarides.

“January 6 was a terrible day for our nation,” Klarides told News 8. “Violence must never be how America resolves our political differences. I condemned it then, and I condemn it now. My focus is on what’s ahead for Connecticut and fixing the serious problems facing too many families here at home. This isn’t a state people can afford to live in, and that’s my focus going forward.”

Leaders from the State Republican Caucuses are also speaking out one year since the Capitol attack.

Republican House Minority Leader Vin Candelora told News 8:

“We should be memorializing what transpired on Jan. 6 by bringing political parties and elected officials together, not perpetuating this divide.”

Republican Senate Minority Leaders Kevin Kelly and Paul Formica say, “In Connecticut, we do not stand for violence or those who incite division. That is not the Connecticut way.”

The 2022 statewide elections are 10 months away.

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