Yet another figure on the political landscape has found himself on the wrong side of the law.
This time, Republican congressional candidate Thomas Gilmer is facing criminal charges related to domestic violence, as reported by The Hill.
Details of the allegations
Gilmer, who is running for one of Connecticut’s seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, was reportedly arrested on Monday in connection with a complaint that he had become violent during an altercation with his ex-girlfriend.
The allegations apparently came to light following a report from Justin Anderson, his GOP opponent in the primary race.
Early on in the campaign, Anderson reportedly informed the state GOP chair that video existed of a fight involving Gilmer and the alleged victim. He said that he wanted the party to investigate the matter internally and keep it out of the media.
According to reports, Anderson expressed concern about the alleged victim and did not want the situation to play out under the spotlight of news coverage. Nevertheless, he later claimed that GOP officials attempted to shame the alleged victim and use the allegations to hurt his own political fortunes.
Second Congressional District Candidate Tom Gilmer was arrested late last night. With the severity of the accusations Mr. Gilmer has ended his campaign.
— CT GOP (@CTGOP) August 11, 2020
What happens next
In light of his arrest, Gilmer likely felt he had no option except to drop out of the race, a decision the Connecticut GOP confirmed in a tweet on Tuesday. He was released on bond and is expected to face counts including first-degree unlawful restraint and second-degree strangulation.
Gilmer released a statement, however, confirming that he would fight the charges and attempt to prove his innocence.
“I cannot in good conscience move forward in this campaign while I am simultaneously forced to clear my name,” he said. “And clear my name I will.”
Given the close proximity to the state’s primary election, the news could present a problem for the Republican Party. If Gilmer happens to win his race against Anderson, he could remain on the general election ballot because he had not formally submitted notice of his withdrawal.
With so much at stake in the upcoming election, it remains to be seen how Republican leaders across the state and beyond choose to react to this unwanted development.