Connecticut political leaders on both sides of the aisle moved swiftly on Monday to condemn racially charged comments made by a Woodbridge Democrat about a Republican lawmaker.
In a pair of Facebook comments posted on Friday, local Woodbridge veterinarian Cheryl Sackler called state Sen. George Logan, R-Woodbridge, a “token black Republican” and the Republican Party the “party of rich white fat guys in suits.” The comments centered on Sackler’s dissatisfaction with the lack of diversity among the Republican candidates for the upcoming Woodbridge town election, as all four of the candidates are white men. She has since deleted her Facebook account.
On Monday, Democratic Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney issued a statement condemning the post.
“In this era of heightened political insensitivity, there is no place at the national or local level to use race, religion, sexual orientation or economic status as a barometer of an individual’s worth,” Looney said. “These types of statements directed at Senator Logan are just wrong — regardless of party — and do not belong in our public discourse.”
Sackler told Hearst Connecticut Media that the frustration underneath her comments came not from any local political issues but from the actions of the Trump administration, especially those affecting animals.
She also said she regretted making the comments about Logan but added that the Republican Party “isn’t exactly known for inclusiveness of other races.”
For Republican Senate President Pro Tempore Len Fasano, though, Sackler’s comments amounted to outright bigotry. In a statement issued less than an hour after Looney’s, Fasano applauded the earlier statement by his Democratic counterpart and called for a unified, bipartisan response to “bigotry.”
“No one should be judged or measured based on their race, religion or sexual orientation,” Fasano said. “The prejudice seen in certain comments posted on Facebook are inexcusable. We must condemn bigotry in unity. This is an issue where Republicans and Democrats in Connecticut can and will stand together.”
A first-term senator, Logan was elected in November when he upset the 12-term Democratic incumbent Joe Crisco Jr. Logan also works as an executive at the local Aquarion Water Company, the largest private water company in the state.
Chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party J.R. Romano said he sees Sackler’s comments as symptomatic of broader issues in Democratic politics.
“This woman represents all that’s wrong with the modern Democratic Party,” he said. “They’re callous, they snipe and they believe that they’re above the rules.”
Romano is trying to harness the controversy for fundraising purposes. The Connecticut Republican Party sent out an email on Monday featuring an image of Sackler’s comments and calling on members to contribute money to help defeat Beth Heller, a Democratic candidate for Woodbridge’s first selectman and a current member of the board of selectmen.
The town election in Woodbridge will be held on May 1.