Inside Connecticut Democratic Politics

The Democratic State Central Committee in Connecticut is scheduled to meet on January 19th, 2005 to elect new officers. George Jepsen is currently the state chair. He has served well, and served as majority leader of the State Senate from my hometown of Stamford.

Recently, I’ve heard from a few different sources that although George is currently seeking re-election as State Chair but might withdraw from the race to seek a higher office. Some people are saying that with the possibility of Dick Blumenthal running for a different office, such as Senator or Governor, George is considering a run for Attorney General. Whatever George decides, I wish him the best.

If he isn’t running for party chair, there are several people who have been suggested as possible party chairs. These include Nancy DiNardo, Nick Paindiris, Tony Avallone and Jim Maloney.

Nancy DiNardo is currently co-chair of the state finance committee. She served as treasurer for Diane Farrell’s bid for congress. I’m sure I’ve met her at one of the fundraisers for Diane Farrell, but I don’t particularly remember. People from the 4th C.D. are expected to support her as a candidate from their region.

Nick Paindiris was in charge of the Kerry campaign in Connecticut during the primaries. I was a Dean supporter, and after Dean ended his bid, Nick reached out to many of the Dean and Clark supporters. I have gotten along well with Nick, although other people I speak with are less enthusiastic about him. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make use of email lists to gather support.

Tony Avallone is a DNC member. I’ve often run into his name in the background here and there. The only specific information I know about Tony, besides that he is a DNC member is that he was a State Senator in the 80’s and 90’s and the New Haven Advocate doesn’t seem to like him.

Jim Maloney is the former U.S. Congressman from the 5th CD who lost his seat due to redistricting. Beyond that, I haven’t heard much about him.

My wife has suggested that I run for State Chair. In spite of my high profile on mailing lists and blogs, I am too much of a dark horse for that. However, I do hope that I can get people in Connecticut move involved with the state party, and I hope that whomever becomes State Chair will work hard to take advantage of internet technology and will reach out and bring in many of the people that have gotten involved through campaigns like Dean’s and Clark’s.

So, what I am asking people from Connecticut to do is this:

First, find out more about the possible State Chair candidates. Form your own opinion about them. If you have information you want to share, post it here. When you have some thoughts about what characteristics you would like to see in a state chair, and who you think exhibits these characteristics, get in touch with the State Central Committee Members from your State Senate district.

If you don’t know what State Senate district you are in, go to Project Vote Smart and enter your nine digit zip code. It will tell you who your elected officials are, including the district of your State Senator. If you don’t know your nine digit zip code, you can find it here.

Once you know your State Senate district, go to the State Democratic Party list of State Central members. One of the columns is SENATEDIST. Find the two State Central committee members from your district.

Use this as an opportunity to get into a good discussion with your State Central committee members about the future of the party and how you can help. Talk about your thoughts about the state chair, and listen to the thoughts of the State Central committee member. Again, if there are interesting observations, add them as comments here.

No matter who gets elected state chair, the party in Connecticut will be stronger if we all get into these discussions.


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