CTNJ file photo
David Walker of Bridgeport (CTNJ file photo)

Republican lieutenant governor candidate David Walker demanded an apology from his opponent, Penny Bacchiochi, on Friday for “playing the race card” on a radio program this week.

“She has clearly crossed the line here by playing the race card,” Walker, of Bridgeport, told WTIC radio host Jim Vicevich Friday morning.

Bacchiochi, a state representative from Stafford told Vicevich on Thursday that someone within her party was trying to make an issue of her biracial family.

“Because I’m such a strong candidate, I am facing these tremendous negative attacks by my opponent,” Bacchiochi said. “I don’t know if you know that I have a wonderful family, but we’re a biracial family. I have a black husband, four black step sons. Can you believe that my own Republicans would try to make that an issue in this convention? I’m devastated and I’m shocked by that.”

Hugh McQuaid file photo
Penny Bacchiochi (Hugh McQuaid file photo)

Bacchiochi did not return repeated calls for comment both Thursday and Friday.

According to a report on WFSB, Bacchiochi spoke to reporter Susan Raff on Thursday and told her she was referring to Walker when she made the remarks on WTIC. 

“She did not provide any evidence whatsoever and I am demanding an apology,” Walker said Friday during the radio interview.

Walker said he never made a comment about Bacchiochi’s family because he believes it’s totally irrelevant to the campaign.

“Frankly, the only one who has brought that up is her,” he said.

On the eve of the Republican nominating convention, Bacchiochi, who has been a lawmaker for 12 years, was considered the frontrunner in the Republican contest for lieutenant governor. It’s unclear how delegates will react to her statements about Walker.

Candidates for the number two slot run independently of the gubernatorial candidate until after the party primary.

Heather Somers of Groton is a third candidate vying for lieutenant governor. She has teamed up with Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, but must run independently until after the primary. Ultimately, the Republican voters will decide which two candidates move forward to the November election.