Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie
Peter Lumaj at the Republican convention in May (Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie)

HARTFORD, CT — The Connecticut Citizens Defense League has a problem with Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski’s robocalls. They say it’s “a betrayal of trust and honor” to confuse voters about which candidate has received the group’s endorsement.

CCDL President Scott Wilson sent a message to its more than 30,000 members Wednesday to let them know they’ve endorsed former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst in the Aug. 14 Republican Primary.

The robocall made by Peter Lumaj on behalf of Stefanowski’s campaign makes it seem as if Stefanowski has the CCDL’s endorsement since Lumaj had their endorsement before the Republican convention. Lumaj didn’t receive enough support at the convention to automatically qualify for the primary ballot and after discussions with a few of the campaigns decided to give his support to Stefanowski.

“Some may view this as politics as usual, but the reality is, this is a betrayal of trust and honor that was bestowed to Peter Lumaj by our organization,” Wilson said. “Such a move of this kind is one that travels down into the ‘filthiest of filthy bowels’ of Connecticut politics.”

The call claims that Herbst can’t be trusted to vote for gun rights and says Stefanowski has an A rating from the NRA. However, the highest rating the NRA gives candidates seeking office is an AQ.

“There is a big difference, in that one implies they are battle tested, the other indicates strong leanings but untested. That erroneous message sent out by the Stefanowski campaign clearly is either shady, amateur or maybe even both,” Wilson said.

Lumaj defended the robocalls.

“It is unfortunate, that the leadership of the CCDL has called my robo call supporting Bob into question,” he said Wednesday. “I was honored, when they endorsed my candidacy at the convention. I still consider them my friends and allies in our shared fight for a better Connecticut. I will always be a proud member of the CCDL.”