State Sen. Andrew Roraback, R-Goshen, the GOP’s nominee to run for the 5th Congressional District seat, this afternoon said he was “shocked and speechless” by the news surrounding Democrat Chris Donovan’s campaign for the same position.
Donovan of Meriden is retiring from the job of state House Speaker to run for Congress. Like Roraback, he recently secured his party’s nomination but faces an August primary.
Donovan’s campaign has so far not responded to the arrest.
“It’s a very sad day. I’m shocked and speechless by the allegations,” Roraback said. “And if the allegations are true, we all have to wait to hear what Speaker Donovan has to say about them. There are only two things he can say. One, I was aware of this activity, which would be an extremely unsettling admission. Or two, I wasn’t aware of this activity, which is equally unsettling to the extent it speaks to the manner in which he’s conducting his campaign.”
The contributions were made, according to the feds, by some opponents of a bill that impacted roll-your-own cigarette shops and would have required them to pay cigarette taxes and other fees. Roraback noted he opposed the legislation and, as far as he knows, neither solicited nor recieved contributions from anyone involved.
The bill did not come up for a vote in the House or the Senate before the General Assembly adjourned May 9 but is supposed to be part of the budget implementer legislation lawmakers are scheduled to enact June 12.
“The speaker and I have agreed on virtually nothing in our years in the legislature but this news comes as a huge shock and disappointment,” Roraback said. “Obviously we all need to hear directly from the Speaker as there are so many questions that he needs to answer as the candidate.”