Gubernatorial candidate Lee Whitnum was arrested on breach of peace charges during a candidates’ debate at Brookfield High School Monday.
Brookfield police said that the forum was a private event put on by the Brookfield Democratic Town Committee and Whitnum was told she was not welcome.
Whitnum showed up anyway and refused leave until she was forcibly removed by police. News 12 captured the whole incident on camera.
"I had every right to be at that debate. I am a declared candidate for governor. My paperwork was filed more than a year ago. I told them I would be attending,” Whitnum said in a statement.
Whitnum was charged with second-degree breach of peace and simple trespass. She was released on a $500 bond is scheduled to appear in court on April 19.
Laura Orban, chair of the Brookfield Democratic Town Committee, provided the following statement to NBC Connecticut.
"We thank the seven invited candidates for sharing their visions for Connecticut and for accurately representing our Democratic values, and we have no further comment on the incident other than to thank the Brookfield Police for their prompt and professional handling of the situation."
The Connecticut Democratic Party also released a statement on the situation:
"There is so much at stake in the gubernatorial election, and we are only a month away from our convention. We need to be focused on the candidates in the race who are going to talk about moving the state forward. Lee Whitnum’s behavior was inappropriate, and frankly it’s not the first time. There’s no place for that type of behavior in our party, and there is too much at stake this fall."