Griswold farmer says he’s upset with Ganim campaign for mistake that may impact annual fundraiser

GRISWOLD — The owners of a popular sunflower and ice cream farm are upset with Democratic Candidate for Governor Joe Ganim.

The issue lead to an apology and clarification from the campaign.

Duane Button owns the Buttonwood Farm ice cream stand and the more than 100 acres of sunflower kissed property it sits on. He told FOX61 he was a victim of a Ganim news release that wasn’t buttoned up.

“In the press release it said how Buttonwood Farm was selling the land to the gun range and what a good hard-working Democrat farm family we are. I’m a registered Republican,” said Button.

Ganim had the wrong member of the family.

“The family has whatever issues they have and I support and hope they have a good weekend down there,” said Ganim.

The Ganim campaign has since posted a clarification, but not until a full week after the issue was raised.

“My problem isn’t as much what he said, it’s the fact that they wouldn’t retract,” said Button.

“I was told the correction was made that day," Ganim told FOX61. "It was brought to our attention that one family member as opposed to another family member had said something, and if I’m wrong I stand corrected.”

Button doesn’t own the land in question for the state gun range, but his cousin Lou Button does. It’s four miles from Buttonwood Farm ice cream. Duane Button said the mistake resulted in protests at his ice cream stand and caused friction in the family.

“I’ve discussed it with my cousin and that’s one thing when it’s done private. But when it’s becomes public, it’s harder to accept,” said Button.

Ganim told FOX61 his release was meant to press Ned Lamont, who he says was trying to politicize the gun range issue.

“I didn’t politicize it, Ned politicized it, he’s the one who put it out there," said Ganim. "He’s the one who put it in the news.”

Lamont said in a public statement that while he understands he need for the state police to site a gun range, it can’t be done at the expense of a community:

Ganim told FOX61 that while its true that Duane Button doesn’t own the land in question for the gun range, they are renting a piece of it from cousin Lou Button to farm.

Duane Button said the mistake is a big deal, considering the damage it could do to their upcoming Sunflowers for Wishes Campaign.

“People make their choice on what to do with their money and with their day depending on their beliefs and this is a passionate belief,” said Button.

Sunflowers for Wishes has been providing sunflower bouquets in exchange for donations to the Make-A-Wish foundation since 2004.

“I encourage everyone to go an patronize there," said Ganim. "I guess this weekend is a big weekend for them.”

Sunflowers for Wishes kicks off this weekend and lasts until July 29. In addition to the sunflower bouquets, they provide hay rides and cow train rides.