Cason continues to demand apology from Enyart over shove at parade

Ann Maher Oct. 9, 2012, 7:00am

Enyart in O'Fallon Homecoming parade on Saturday.

St. Clair County Associate Judge Laninya Cason is not backing down from demanding an apology from Democratic congressional candidate Bill Enyart who she claims shoved her on a parade route in O'Fallon on Saturday.

Enyart, retired Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard and two-star general, is running against Republican Jason Plummer in the 12th Congressional District for the seat being vacated by veteran Congressman Jerry Costello (D-Belleville).

Enyart's campaign claims that any contact between Enyart and Cason was accidental and that he immediately apologized for it.

"On a crowded parade route, people bump into each other all the time because these are low-key fun events for voters to meet candidates at all levels," reads a statement from Enyart's campaign. "Bill accidentally bumped into a Plummer supporter, immediately apologized, but somehow between laughing and joking and now, this has become political. 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."

But Cason, who is running for circuit judge in the 20th Judicial Circuit as a Republican against Democrat Associate Judge Zina Cruse, maintains that she did not receive an apology from Enyart. She filed an incident report with O'Fallon Police on Saturday.

She also said that even though she doesn't have time to deal with "this sideshow" – because she has her own race to run - she must defend her "honor and integrity."

"All this could have been avoided if he would have apologized," she said.

She said it was an "outright lie" that Enyart apologized to her.

Cason said she initially reported the incident to an Enyart handler after the parade on Saturday. She said she had been "blind-sided" when she was shoved in the upper left shoulder from behind by Enyart.

"He (the handler) outright told me, 'No, he did not. No, he did not.' He's a two-star general.'

"OK, so he's a two-star general and I am a judge," she said. "So, I am a liar?

"I am in the truth business," she said.

Cason said she wore a Plummer T-shirt during the parade.

She said she believed Enyart shoved her because "he was making a point, - get out of the way," she said.

"If you're an officer, you're definitely not a gentleman," she said.

Enyart campaign spokesman Jason Bresler said that "nothing happened."

"It's done because there was never anything to begin with," he said.

Both sides claim they have eye witnesses to the incident who will back up their sides of the incident.

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