House Speaker Chris Donovan, whose congressional campaign was shaken by the arrest of his finance director, will rally with his supporters at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
A campaign spokesman said yesterday that it canceled a press event with state lawmakers until after the June 12 special legislative session because it didn’t want to be perceived as trying to sway anyone to vote for the legislation which is part of the focus of the federal investigation. Donovan has said he will hand over his leadership duties to House Majority Leader Brendan Sharkey for the special session.
The FBI undercover investigation that lead to the arrest of Donovan’s campaign finance director involved an agent posing as an investor in a roll-your-own smoke shop looking to defeat legislation to increase fees on these smoke shops. The money was then funneled to Donovan’s campaign through straw donors, according to the federal affidavit.
Donovan, who built his career on labor and good government issues, claimed Sunday he did not know “anyone might have been trying to funnel illegal contributions to my campaign. No one ever made a deal with me as a quid pro quo.”
Gabe Rosenberg, a spokesman for Donovan’s congressional campaign, said Wednesday that the rally will feature supporters like labor leaders who aren’t lawmakers.
On Tuesday, Donovan’s campaign sent out an email to supporters thanking them for standing with him.
“It has been a difficult couple of days, both personally, and for the campaign,“ Donovan wrote. “Your support means the world to me, because I know I can count on you in the rough times, as well as the good ones.”
The rally will be held at 21 Oak Street in Hartford.