With the blessing of Gov.-elect Dan Malloy, Nancy DiNardo announced this week that she will seek another two-year term as chairwoman of the Connecticut Democratic Party.
In a letter to state central members Friday, DiNardo announced her intention to seek another term.
“I am thankful for his confidence in me, and I look forward to working with the new Governor on issues that are important to our Democratic ideals,” DiNardo wrote Friday.
In a telephone conversation, Malloy expressed confidence in DiNardo and said she did a great job in the last election cycle by returning five Democrats to Congress and delivering the state its first Democratic governor in 20 years.
DiNardo will be joined on the ticket by Nick Balletto, former chairman of the New Haven Democratic Town Committee. Balletto also has been endorsed by Malloy in his run for vice chairman of the party. State Rep. Steve Fontana, who lost his re-election bid in November, has decided not to run again as vice chairman. Balletto was instrumental in Malloy’s get-out-the-vote effort in New Haven and helped him win the Elm City with more than 20,000 votes.
Fontana, who held the post for six years, said he used his legislative position to act as a liaison between the legislature and state central. Now that he won’t be in the legislature, he said there was little reason to hold onto the job.
He said Thursday that his six-year tenure with DiNardo was a success. The two were able to accomplish some good things such as taking back the Fourth Congressional District seat from then-Congressman Chris Shays and electing Connecticut’s first Democratic governor in 20 years.
Fontana said DiNardo has done a good job recruiting and training candidates for office at all levels.
Unlike the Republican Party, the position of chairman is unpaid.
DiNardo, the first woman elected to the post, has some critics within the party who aren’t happy with the way she has handled U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman’s loose affiliation with the party after the 2006 election. The decision to run as an independent against party-endorsed candidate Ned Lamont in 2006 and his speech at the Republican National Convention in support of John McCain didn’t win Lieberman any Democratic friends.
While DiNardo acknowledges the anger directed at Lieberman, she also said she will remain neutral should he seek to run for re-election as a Democrat in 2012, even if that re-election bid pits him against U.S. Reps. Chris Murphy or Joe Courtney.
DiNardo said last week that she was excited to be able to work for the first time under a Democratic governor.
The election will be held Jan. 19.