Former state Sen. William Aniskovich, after having all but locked up the vote for Republican Party Chairman, bowed out of the race Thursday afternoon after a Courant columnist detailed his philandering past.

Keep reading to find out what he told Republican State Central Committee members in an email Thursday afternoon.

Dear State Central Committee Member:

I am writing to inform you that I am withdrawing as a candidate for State Republican Party Chair.

I am withdrawing because I believe that my professional and personal experiences will continue to be distorted by others to promote a political agenda that is contrary to what we believe as Republicans.

It was my intention to help our Party build a more effective political operation.  It is my belief that I cannot do that if my personal and professional experiences become a distraction to the Party.

To that end, I feel it is important to respond to the various claims made by my opponents:

My campaign finance issues involved the forfeit of funds contributed to a PAC by individuals who had already made maximum contributions to my candidate committee.  Up until that time, this process fully comported with campaign finance rules and it was a change in interpretation that led to the forfeiture.  There was never a finding that I or my Treasurer knowingly violated a campaign finance law.

Stonington Institute submitted a bid to DCF with LEARN, a nonprofit education service center, for its RTC contracts.  Those contracts were awarded in compliance with all applicable regulations, including those requiring Attorney General review. In fact, we were the second bidder and awarded the contract after the first bidder declined to perform.

At every significant step in my professional career I received—-in advance—-an Ethics Advisory Letter that confirmed the appropriateness of my business activities.  Those opinions are a matter of public record.

Stonington Institute was acquired by UHS, Inc. in accordance with all applicable regulations.  The sale and acquiring entity information was legally noticed twice, once without a purchase price and once with a purchase price, both notice periods expired without any request for a public hearing.

My wife, who at the time served on the state Commission on the Arts, was asked and agreed to serve as the executive director of an agency by the Governor before any story alleging wrongdoing by Governor Rowland was ever published in the media.  Her appointment by the Governor was approved unanimously by the legislature’s bi-partisan Legislative & Executive Nominations Committee and the Democrat-controlled State House during the Rowland controversy.  I never had a conversation with the Governor about her role in state government and never made any legislative or public decision because of it. As she so aptly commented at the time, my wife got her job at CCT in spite of me, not because of me.

I have been nominated twice to serve on the Board of Governors for Higher Education.  My nomination was vetted by the bi-partisan Legislative & Executive Nominations Committee.  I was approved unanimously by that Committee and once by the state House and once by the state Senate.  Never once in those proceedings did these “issues” ever surface. 

I have come to this decision after considerable deliberation with my family and after receiving enormous support from many friends, supporters and committee members.

I know that your deliberations will lead to the selection of a strong leader for the Connecticut Republicans.  I pledge my support of your efforts to elect more Republicans in Connecticut .