Bobby Gibson, the Democratic-endorsed candidate for the vacant 15th District assembly seat, is apologizing to voters for a recent arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Gibson, 50, was arrested Nov. 16 after leaving a party where he acknowledged that he “drank some wine.”
Gibson was stopped by Bloomfield police on Cottage Grove Road for a malfunctioning headlight, he said.
“I take full responsibility and apologize for the incident that occurred on November 16,” Gibson said in a statement, adding that he has never been in legal trouble before and that his lawyer advised him against commenting further.
The arrest won’t cause Gibson to end his campaign for the state House seat vacated in November by David Baram, who resigned after being elected judge of the 3rd District Probate Court.
He is facing petitioning candidate Joseph Suggs in a special election being held Tuesday in Bloomfield and part of Windsor.
Gibson said he was sorry to have disappointed people he looks up to and who look up to him, but added that he won’t let this moment define him.
“I look forward to moving on with my campaign and continuing to talk with the people of Bloomfield and Windsor about what issues matter most to them,” he said.
Gibson, a middle school teacher in Bloomfield, and Suggs both attended a candidate’s forum Tuesday sponsored by the Seabury Retirement Community.
The event was scheduled as a debate, but Bloomfield Town Committee Chairman Donald Harris rejected that format.
“We have nothing to gain from a debate. Joe is a seasoned politician,” Harris said of Suggs, 77, a former mayor of Bloomfield and state treasurer.
Suggs said he was happy to have an opportunity for residents to meet both candidates and choose the best one.
Gibson said he was not in control of the format for the event and that what was most important to him was giving voters an opportunity to see who he is and what he stands for.
The forum was attended by about 75 people, who listened to both men explain why they were the best choice to serve the district, before asking several questions. The issue of Gibson’s arrest did not come up.