August 15, 2017/Press Releases

Romano’s Reyes relationship is latest in a long line of questionable decisions

Hartford, Ct. – Connecticut Republican Party Chairman J.R. Romano’s reported association with right-wing conspiracy theorist and Charlottesville denier Kyle Reyes once again raises serious questions about the direction of Connecticut Republicans. Romano, who initially defended Donald Trump’s response to Charlottesville before issuing a statement condemning white supremacy, presides over a party that has taken increasingly extreme positions over the past several weeks.

  • On August 3, Romano, state Senator Art Linares, state Representative Bob Siegrist, state Representative Jesse MacLachlan, and many other GOP dignitaries spoke at a fundraiser featuring Michelle Malkin, who literally wrote a book in support of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and profiling of Muslim Americans today.
  • On August 12, Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano’s chief strategist, Chris Healy, himself a former state GOP chairman, unleashed string of tweets blaming the media for the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville and defending Donald Trump.
  • On August 13, Republican State Central Committee member Patricia Fers went on a xenophobic rant on Facebook – then blamed it on a typo. Romano attacked the media, but did not disavow the bigoted comment.

“It’s time to hold J.R. Romano and his Republican colleagues accountable,” said Connecticut Democratic Party Executive Director Michael Mandell. “Over the past several weeks — from fully embracing Michelle Malkin’s racist politics, to xenophobic and conspiratorial social media posts, to cozying up to questionable figures like Kyle Reyes — Connecticut Republicans have shown their true colors. In all honesty, Romano’s words the day after Charlottesville, which we appreciated and deservedly received recognition, ring hollow when compared to his actions.

“It’s evident that J.R. Romano’s Republican Party is more concerned with scoring political points with the alt-right than offering any constructive solutions. Look no further than the Senate GOP President desperately trying to claim the mantle of leadership, but who will not question his chief strategist’s rants on social media that, at best, equivocated about the devastation wrought by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend and, at worst, reflected the Senate GOP Caucus’s reluctance to condemn such hatred.”