A St. Clair County judge is accusing congressional candidate William Enyart of pushing her “rather aggressively and in an unaffectionate way” during a parade Saturday in O’Fallon.
Associate Judge Laninya Cason, a Republican candidate for circuit judge, said she had filed a report with O’Fallon police.
Enyart’s campaign manager said the Democrat from Belleville simply bumped into Cason during a parade and any other suggestion is an example of “ugly politics” infecting the political realm.
Cason said she was walking in the O’Fallon High School homecoming parade when the incident occurred.
While initially in a group of Republican parade-walkers, she fell behind as she stopped to talk to people on the route and ended up near a group of Democrats walking in the parade, including Enyart.
“I had on a (Jason) Plummer T-shirt. Enyart came up to me and said, ‘I have another shirt for you if you want,’ kind of nasty-like,” Cason said. “I kept walking and the next thing I knew, he pushed me rather aggressively and in an unaffectionate way.”
Plummer, a Republican from Fairview Heights, is also vying for retiring Congressman Jerry Costello’s seat. So is Green Party nominee Paula Bradshaw of Carbondale.
Cason said she considered ignoring the incident but then thought, “I am a sitting judge and he is a (retired) general and he put his hands on me. I’m not going to tolerate it,” she said.
Jason Bresler, Enyart for Congress campaign manager, said people bumping into each other on a crowded parade route is not uncommon.
“Bill accidentally bumped into a Plummer supporter, immediately apologized, but somehow between laughing and joking, now this has become political,” Bresler said. “This is the type of ugly politics that people in Southern Illinois are sick of — where something as simple as a parade could become grounds for political gamesmanship.”
Cason had filed a report, O’Fallon Police Sgt. Jim Cavins confirmed.
“A report was made by the judge and it will be investigated thoroughly,” he said.
When completed, the results of the investigation will be forwarded to the St. Clair County state’s attorney, the sergeant said.
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