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Black Republican candidate told she needs permit to campaign… by Democratic driver who happens to be state trooper

Rev. Ernestine Holloway (270456)
Rev. Ernestine Holloway

Politicians in these recent elections seems like used car salesmen – they’ll do anything to get elected. And so, there seems to have been a lot of lying and cheating going on. Now comes a story out of Connecticut of a Black candidate being told she needs a permit to campaign. The kicker is that the state trooper that told her that lie happens to be her opponent’s driver.

The Connecticut state trooper who stopped an African American Republican candidate while she was door knocking was a driver for the campaign of Susan Bysiewicz, the Democratic lieutenant governor nominee, reports the CT Post. In response, Bysiewicz said she fired Trooper Larry Morello, whom she characterized in a statement Thursday as an “occasional volunteer driver.” Rev. Ernestine Holloway, who is running for state representative in Meriden, was recently handing out campaign literature with volunteers in Middlefield when she was stopped by Morello, the Hartford Courant reported.

Morello was responding to a possible burglary in progress, when he addressed Holloway and told her she needed a peddler’s permit to campaign. Holloway ceased campaigning and went to Town Hall to see if a permit was required. It was not. “I’ve spoken to Ernestine, and I’m appalled by what she experienced,” said House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, in a statement Thursday. “Everyone in this country has the undeniable right to run for office regardless of race, gender or ethnicity, and all candidates must be allowed to do what is necessary to run a campaign without fear as they express their ideas to residents they hope to serve.”

The state police, through a spokesman, asserted a thorough investigation of the incident will occur. Dora Schriro, the Commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, which oversees the State Police, personally called Holloway to respond to the incident, said Kelly Donnelly, spokesperson for the Governor’s Office. Holloway did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Theresa Tillett of Windsor was the treasurer’s for Holloway’s 2017 mayoral campaign and discussed the incident with her.

“It is very clearly a case of driving while Black,” she said. “She’s had people say things. It’s despicable that here it is 2018 and we are still dealing with racism.” Bysiewicz said she was “deeply disturbed” by the incident. “As the former Secretary of the State, I believe in fair and open elections, and I have zero tolerance for any group or person who would hinder our democratic process,” she wrote. “As soon as the details were shared with me, we severed ties.” The police will have to investigate whether the incident constitutes racial profiling, said J.R. Romano, chairman of the state Republican Party. “This definitely is a situation where the state police have to take stock,” Romano said. “This is unfortunate. I have never heard of this before where a candidate has to go get a peddlers license.” Holloway is running against Democratic state Rep. Emil “Buddy” Altobello of Meriden.