Harrisburg Police Chief did not authorize photo for campaign material

Chief Thomas Carter
Harrisburg City Police

Chief Thomas Carter Harrisburg City Police

Harrisburg, Pa. — A mailer that was sent to voters in the 15th senatorial district was not accurate. And, Republican nominee John DiSanto said he has nothing to do with it.

Harrisburg Police Chief Thomas Carter tried to clear the air today, when he said in a statement that he did not endorse a candidate in the 15th district. Incumbent Democrat Rob Teplitz is running against newcomer DiSanto.

“I did not authorize my photo to be used in the political campaign of Mr. DiSanto, and have not publicly endorsed his candidacy,” Chief Carter said.

Mayor Eric Papenfuse said, “we also are disappointed that Chief Carter’s photo was used without his permission in campaign promotions issued by Mr. DiSanto. We want to make sure the Harrisburg Police Department remains politically neutral and independent.

The 15th senatorial district spans parts of Dauphin County and all of Perry County.

According to the DiSanto campaign, they had no knowledge of the flyer and saw it for the first time today.

“It was apparently sent by a third-party group without any consultation with us,” Campaign Manager Chuck Erdman said. “The language on the flyer was lifted from publicly available information on our website and the photos were ones that were on our public Facebook page as early as December 2015.”

He continued, “It appears the City jumped to the conclusion that the DiSanto campaign sent this flyer without checking with us first or even looking at the paid-for-by disclaimer. Senator Teplitz jumped to this same
conclusion and posted the statement on his campaign Facebook page. It’s pretty sad commentary that they didn’t do basic fact-checking before launching an unfounded attack on us. We respectfully request
a full retraction and apology.”

The campaign supported their position describing the relationship DiSanto has with Chief Carter.

“John has known Chief Carter since December 2015 when he met with him to discuss issues impacting the City of Harrisburg and he authorized John to make a Facebook post thanking him for the meeting and his service, which has been on the DiSanto for Senate Facebook page since then. The post did not suggest an endorsement. Chief Carter and John DiSanto see each other occasionally at public events and in fact chatted at this morning’s State of the City breakfast, before there was any knowledge of this flyer,” the DiSanto campaign wrote.  “The DiSanto for Senate campaign has never indicated a public endorsement from Chief Carter. However, John DiSanto is honored to have a public endorsement from the top law enforcement officials of both Dauphin and Perry Counties: Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico and Sheriff Nick Chimienti, and Perry County District Attorney Andrew Bender and Sheriff Carl Nace.”