Lieutenant governor candidate Penny Bacchiochi ended a consulting agreement with urban outreach consultant Regina Roundtree on Thursday over online comments about another candidate, but Roundtree will continue work for Tom Foley’s gubernatorial campaign.
“Her status is that she’s a consultant to the Foley campaign for urban outreach,” Foley spokesman Chris Cooper said. “The work she was doing for the Bacchiochi campaign was not connected or related to the work she is doing for the Foley campaign in any way.”
Roundtree had also served as an urban outreach consultant for the Bacchiochi campaign until Thursday when Bacchiochi’s primary opponent, Heather Bond Somers, called on the campaign to “disavow” statements Roundtree made about her on social media.
Former Republican lawmaker Kevin Rennie posted on his blog a screengrab of Roundtree apparently charging Somers with “white privilege” on her Facebook page.
Reached by phone, Roundtree said the comments were hers, but had been taken out of context in the post. She declined to comment further on the issue.
The Somers campaign called the social media comments “outrageous assertions.”
“While a Republican primary may become very heated over the discussion of a candidate’s record and vision there is no place for the personal, divisive and defamatory assertions which are becoming common from the Bacchiochi camp,” the Somers campaign said in a statement.
Bacchiochi stirred controversy prior to the Republican convention in May, when she suggested in media interviews that another candidate, David Walker, made comments about her biracial marriage. Bacchiochi later apologized to Walker.
On Thursday, she responded to Roundtree’s comments by severing ties with the consultant and calling the comments “unacceptable.”
“The campaign had no prior knowledge of the statements attributed to her that appeared on a third-party social media web site. The campaign has ended its consulting agreement with Ms. Roundtree,” she said.
Roundtree, founder of the Connecticut Black Republicans and Conservatives as well as Cogent Consulting, appears to have a more lucrative relationship with the Foley campaign than with the Bacchiochi campaign.
According to campaign finance documents, Bacchiochi paid Roundtree and Cogent a total of $645.16 for consultant work this year. Meanwhile, Foley has paid Cogent a total of $7,210.