On Tuesday, the Connecticut GOP announced that “Second Congressional District Candidate Tom Gilmer was arrested late last night. With the severity of the accusations Mr. Gilmer has ended his campaign.” What were the severe accusations? Gilmer was reportedly charged with “second-degree strangulation and first-degree unlawful restraint, according to Wethersfield police,” in a domestic violence incident between Gilmer and a former girlfriend. The arrest, coming on the eve of the Republican primary, has thrown things out of wack. But that’s not the entire story.
According to the Hartford Courant, one of Gilmer’s primary opponents, Justin Anderson, had been “showing a graphic video of the alleged attack to his fellow Republicans as he worked to defeat the party-backed Gilmer.” The video reportedly shows Gilmer punching a woman in the face and then choking her from above as she falls to the ground. According to Anderson, he had received this video from the woman who had been assaulted on the condition that he only show it to fellow GOP establishment and not bring it to the authorities. According to the Courant, Anderson had been showing the video for weeks proceeding Tuesday’s arrest.
Surprisingly, the Connecticut GOP did not waver in their support of Gilmer up until primary night when the above mugshot was taken by the Wethersfield police. One Connecticut Republican politician, Lori Hopkins-Cavanagh, saw the video and said that “It was shocking,” and that she had a hard time watching the “whole thing.” That’s the kind of Republican Party we are dealing with. While Trump openly rigs the coming presidential election, Connecticut Republicans look the other way for as long as is possible when a woman has been abThomas Gilmer, used by one of their candidates.
To put this into perspective, Democratic Rep. Elizabeth Etsy announced that she would not run for a fourth term in her Connecticut district after she reportedly kept her chief of staff on board for three months “after learning “another former aide had been granted a restraining order after accusing him of physical violence and death threats.”
That was bad. But even some Connecticut Republicans see this as “worse.” That’s because in this case there seems to have been clear corroborating video evidence. It also comes in tandem with reports that police had investigated a case involving the victim where she suffered fractures to multiple teeth and a cut on her forehead, but at the time she told police she had had a seizure. According to the Courant, the police’s arrest of Gilmer is tied to that incident, as the woman (and video) are now telling a different story.
Now that Gilmer has dropped out, if he receives the most votes it will not go to his closest challenger, Anderson. Instead, the Republican Party would select the candidate they hope to defeat Democratic Congressman Joe Courtney.
Gilmer says that while he is dropping out of the race he plans on fighting the charges.