City of Waukesha Alderman Aaron Perry made a big splash when he announced he was switching to the Democratic Party. However, the two-time loser for the state Assembly in the 97th district may get a cold shoulder from his new party following being charged with felony domestic assault.
“At the Waukesha County Democratic Party we consider ourselves to be a welcoming big tent, open to anyone who shares our values,” said Matt Mareno, chairman of the County Party in an email to RightWisconsin. “Clearly the allegations against Mr. Perry do not represent our values.”
Mareno said the county party could not comment further on the allegations while there is an ongoing investigation.
“We have full confidence that criminal justice system will find the truth of this matter and handle it in the best way possible,” Mareno said. “Everyone involved in this matter are in our thoughts going forward.”
While they’re waiting on the results of the criminal investigation by the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department, the Waukesha County Democrats went a step further in cutting ties with their candidate for Assembly.
“Learning of this incident on November 10th, I instructed our Treasurer to identify any monetary contributions from Mr. Perry and we have identified $25 over the last 24 months,” Mareono said. “On November 12th we mailed a check to the Women’s Center of Waukesha equal to the contributions of Mr. Perry. These donations are better used serving the women of our community.”
Mareno noted that the Women’s Center in Waukesha was founded by Gerry Pas, the widow of former county party chairman Dick Pas.
Perry is facing one felony charge, Intimidate Victim/Damage Property, and three misdemeanor charges: Battery – Domestic Abuse, Criminal Damage to Property Domestic Abuse, and Disorderly Conduct Domestic Abuse.
The charges stem from an incident when Perry allegedly grabbed the victim by the arms and refused to let her leave when she came to pick up their children. Perry allegedly damaged the victim’s phone when she attempted to dial 911 for help. The alderman also allegedly threatened the victim by telling her that, because of his position with the city, he could not be arrested.
When the police arrived to investigate the incident afterwards, Perry allegedly told the officers that they were “wasting their time.” According to the criminal complaint, Perry also used his position as an alderman to threaten the officers.
“I just want you to know that this is not a good decision,” Perry allegedly told the officers. “This is going to haunt you.”
In a statement to the Waukesha Freeman, Perry maintained his innocence. “I’m innocent of all charges,” Perry said. “Beyond that I am not allowed to comment.”
City of Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly said in a statement to RightWisconsin that he has spoken with the alderman, but Perry told him that he will not be resigning.
Reilly said if the allegations are true, Perry should not serve on the Common Council. “I just read a portion of the complaint,” Reilly said. “Damn. If true he should not continue serving.”
In 2019, Perry was very public with his switch from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party shortly after he won re-election as an alderman. Blaming President Donald Trump, Perry made numerous media appearances to complain about the state of the Republican Party.
After previously denying he was making a second run for the Assembly, this time as a Democrat, Perry announced in April he was running.
Perry is not the first to cause headaches for Assembly Democrats in the “#metoo” era. Rep. Staush Gruszynski, a Democrat from Green Bay, lost in the August Primary Election after if was learned he allegedly harassed a legislative staff member a year earlier.
In 2018, Rep. Josh Zepnick (D-Milwaukee) was defeated after it was learned that he kissed two women against their will while he was intoxicated.
Assembly Democrats are led by Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh), who was cited for solicitation in a prostitution sting in an Appleton massage parlor in 2011. Hintz later gained additional notoriety after yelling, “You’re f—–g dead!” at a female colleague in the Assembly after the Act 10 vote.
On the Republican side, the 97th Assembly District was represented by Rep. Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha) who did not run for re-election in 2014 after being charged with sexual assault. Kramer eventually pleaded no contest to fourth-degree sexual assault.