As Republican Senate race takes a nasty turn, Wilson says to play nice

Republican State Chairman Tom Wilson doesn’t like where the Republican U.S. Senate primary appears to be going.

Noting the attacks lobbed against Anne Evans Estabrook by the rival campaigns of Murray Sabrin and State Sen. Joseph Pennacchio, Wilson said that the campaigns so far are very close to violating Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican.”

“I’m Switzerland here, and I’m beginning to think I need to do what I did in 2005 with all the gubernatorial candidates: invite them to have a discussion about this campaign,” he said. “It’s ok to point out differences, but there’s no reason to get personal about it or ascribe motivations to people. Fight as hard as you can, but fight fairly.”

Wilson said that he’d be open to having all three campaigns sign a pledge defining boundaries for the types of criticism the campaigns use against one another.

“I think that probably are all guilty of it at different levels. I think Sabrin has gotten more attention and it’s going to encourage everybody to think about the campaign and the message you’re conveying to people,” he said. “I don’t relish the idea of wearing a striped shirt and having a whistle around my neck.”

As Republican Senate race takes a nasty turn, Wilson says to play nice