Statement from Rhode Island State Representative-elect Laufton Ascencao (Democrat, District 68, Bristol):
“During the 2018 election, I did a stupid and immature thing. I think it’s important to own up to a mistake and that’s what I’m trying to do here. In late October I made a personal commitment to the Warren Democrats that my campaign would send a mailer in support of some local candidates. I completed the design, but I finished it too late for it to actually arrive before Election Day.
“I felt horrible about this. To be honest, I was really embarrassed I had not been able to help. Instead of coming clean and admitting that I had been unable to complete the mailer, I told them it had gone out. I wasn’t honest with people I consider friends. I hoped to avoid confrontation, but I just made the situation worse. It was a dumb thing to do and I’m incredibly sorry.
“I let this deception go on for far too long. As part of this, I showed them a copy of the mailer that I had drafted, a mock invoice that was dated for November 10th, and a photo of a check I wrote. In reality, at no point was any expense accrued, any order placed, or any check mailed. I just couldn’t bring myself to admit I had let them down.
“I have now admitted my mistake to those directly affected by my actions and apologized. I also proactively reached out to the Board of Elections and explained my mistake in detail. The reports filed by my campaign and others are accurate, showing no in kind contribution because none occurred.
“I may not have broken the law but I did break the trust of friends and allies. I feel terrible about my actions. It’s a hard lesson to learn. I’m working to make amends and rebuild trust with my colleagues and with the voters of my district, who are counting on me to represent them and their needs at the State House.”