Candidate for Connecticut governor standing by supporter with Mafia past

Dan Drew says Salvatore "Butch" D'Aquila, Jr. has paid his debt to society

Middletown Mayor Dan Drew is a Democratic candidate for governor in the 2016 election. Image from WTNH

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP) — A candidate for governor of Connecticut is defending a $375 contribution from a convicted felon previously connected to the Mafia.

Middletown Mayor Dan Drew’s exploratory committee has received the maximum allowed under the state’s clean-elections law from Salvatore “Butch” D’Aquila Jr.

The Connecticut Post reports that D’Aquila also attended a fundraiser for the Democratic mayor.

D’Aquila was sent to prison for 15 years in 1991 for running an illegal gambling ring for the New England mob.

Drew says D’Aquila has paid his debt to society and is a valued member of the Middletown community and a friend.

Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced earlier this year he was not seeking a third term in office.