GOP Leaders Ignore Rep. Stone’s Past, But Claremont Folks Want Him Penalized

Print More

Twitter photo

Former U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who is running in the Republican primary for governor, is pictured with Rep. Jon Stone on March 10 when she tweeted from his gun store in Claremont.


Republican leaders in New Hampshire appear to be giving House Rep. Jon Stone a pass or ignoring allegations made public two weeks ago about his menacing behavior as a police officer 18 years ago, but some Claremont residents say they want him removed at least from local committees.

Stone, a Republican, left his job as a Claremont police officer in 2006 after threatening to kill fellow police officers in a shooting spree, murder his chief after raping the chief’s wife and children while under scrutiny for his inappropriate relationship with a teen girl, according to the internal investigation reports obtained recently by reporter Damien Fisher.

Chiara Tosi-Nelson, who along with her husband Ben, owns Claremont Spice and Dry Goods, and a few others spoke out against Stone at the last Claremont City Council Meeting April 10, and said she is not going away.

“We are asking that he be immediately removed from his role as a Director of the Claremont Development Authority as well as his role of the Chair of the Policy Committee,” Nelson said.

Nelson said there will be more people standing against Stone, who formerly sat on the city council until losing by six votes during the last election, when the council meets again April 24.

Stone, a twice-elected Republican state Representative for Claremont, has been back in his seat at the House serving on the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee since the revelations two weeks ago and has not returned requests for comment.

Republicans House Speaker Sherman Packard, gubernatorial candidate Kelly Ayotte and former president Donald Trump have all maintained silence about Stone’s behavior after Democratic House Leader Matt Wilhelm of Manchester called for Stone’s removal from the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.

This week, the chairman of the Sullivan County Republican Party, Michael Aron, released a statement in support of Stone, and his wife, Rep. Judy Aron, R-South Acworth, said she supports him as well.

“It’s disappointing but not surprising to see desperate attempts to smear the reputation of a dedicated public servant like Representative Jon Stone. The resurgence of more than decade-old allegations is a transparent political ploy aimed at undermining Representative Stone’s integrity and distracting from his outstanding record of service,” Michael Aron said.

“The reports are nothing more than a collection of allegations and hearsay, which were never substantiated and did not result in any criminal charges against Representative Stone. It’s evident that these efforts are politically motivated and intended to distract from the meaningful work being done on behalf of the people,” he said.

His wife, Rep. Judy Aron, said she supports Stone.

“He hasn’t been convicted of anything or arraigned for anything and no criminal charges have been filed. These allegations happened decades ago,” Rep. Judy Aron said. “As far as I’m concerned, he’s an excellent state Rep and serving his constituents well.”

Stone, who co-owns the Black Op Arms in Claremont, built an AR-15 rifle for former President Trump in 2016 and reportedly continues to be a strong supporter.

Ayotte, who was attorney general in 2006, stopped by Stone’s gun shop and posted a picture of him with her on Twitter on March 10. Her campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment.

“Loved seeing one of our signs outside Black Op Arms in Claremont! Thank you to Rep. Jonathan Stone for showing us around your store,” Ayotte tweeted. She has been silent about Stone since the formerly confidential records were released.

Emma O’Brien, spokesman of the Democratic Governors Association said: “It’s been weeks since it was revealed that one of Kelly Ayotte’s earliest allies threatened a shooting spree against police officers and sexual violence against their families, and she hasn’t said a word.

“Now, it’s clear that she knew about Stone’s violent history before accepting his endorsement. It’s time for Kelly Ayotte to come clean about her ties to Jon Stone and drop his endorsement once and for all,” O’Brien said.

Former Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, who is running in the Democratic primary for governor, said: “Last week it was reported that Representative Jon Stone, a strong supporter of both Kelly Ayotte and Donald Trump, was fired from the Claremont Police Department in 2006 for carrying on an inappropriate relationship with a teenage girl, threatening to murder other police officers, and threatening to rape the police chief’s wife and children. Despite these threats of extreme violence, Kelly Ayotte has refused to renounce Rep. Stone’s support.

“Kelly Ayotte is refusing to renounce Rep. Jon Stone’s support when she should have been the first person to call for him to resign from office. Kelly is too weak to stand up to extremists in her party even after they make violent threats. It is appalling that Kelly is campaigning with a man who threatened to kill police officers and rape women, and shows a serious lack of judgment”, Craig said. “Kelly’s decision to continue accepting Rep. Stone’s support is all the proof we need that we can’t trust her to stand up for Granite Staters.”

Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington, who is also running for governor in the Democratic primary, said: “It is disgraceful that Kelly Ayotte refuses to renounce the support of a man who made violent threats against women and law enforcement officers, and who has been accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a minor. Kelly pretends to stand for the rule of law, but she actually stands with far-right politicians accused of criminal misconduct like Rep. Stone and Donald Trump.”

Chiara Tosi-Nelson said she and a bunch of Claremont citizens plan on being at the next city council meeting. “We plan to keep up pressure and request he be removed (from two local committees). This is something me and other Claremont residents don’t want to see being swept under the rug.

“This is an embarrassment for Claremont and damaging to the city. It’s national and international news and we want the councilors to address demands that he be removed,” Nelson said.

Comments are closed.