What politicians and candidates say and do in the midst of a campaign cycle can have serious repercussions and effects on the community in which we live.

We live in an era of extreme partisan bickering, the electorate is divided and we're in a climate where it's more important to be right and to have the last word than it is to build a consensus and to engage in a productive discourse where the trajectory is to improve our community.

Recently, state Rep. Kim Fawcett sent out a mass campaign email depicting her opponent Chris DeSanctis as some strident and right-wing individual, chastised his religious beliefs, made erroneous comments and accused him of being endorsed by the Tea Party -- which he was not -- and claimed if elected, he would gut public funding of education, also untrue.

Not only were these claims misleading and just flat-out wrong but they were insulting for those who are represented by Mrs. Fawcett, who is obligated by virtue of her position, to disseminate accurate information to her constituents.

Instead of talking about her own legislative record during her tenure as a state representative, Mrs. Fawcett went on a rant about fictional stances she claims Mr. DeSanctis holds. Not only is it beneath the office that she was elected to hold, but it doesn't serve her constituents well to fabricate misstatements and mistruths in order to win an election.

Not only is Mrs. Fawcett emailing this fictional narrative to voters but her campaign surrogates are also writing letters and spreading her work of fiction around. It's deplorable, and as a town and community, we need to have the sense to raise the level of discourse where we debate the actual issues at hand, not made up ones.

For full disclosure, I am a registered Republican, and Mrs. Fawcett does not represent me but I was so shocked to see this email in my inbox, that I was spurred to write a letter disparaging her actions. I don't endorse these kind of attacks on either side of the aisle as I believe they are senseless and serve no purpose for the greater good of our town.

Also for full disclosure, I have known Chris and his family for several years, and I know he has spent most of his career in education, working with young people and has been a valuable leader in many areas of our community. Chris, who is also an adjunct political science professor, objectively examines issues and dissects them based on research and learning and doesn't rely on a party platform and talking points to arrive at a conclusion. He's the type of leader we want in Hartford speaking for us and raising the level of dialogue.

Alexis Harrison