CTNJ file photo
Nancy DiNardo, the long-time chairwoman of the state Democratic Party, will not return to the position next year and will instead run for the party’s vice chair position. DiNardo has endorsed Vice Chair Nick Balletto to succeed her.

DiNardo’s decision to step down comes after a 10-year tenure as party chair. The party will elect its new leadership in January. In a Friday email to state central committee members, DiNardo said she was proud of the party’s work.

“Year after year, we’ve had extraordinary local, state and federal election successes. Together, with our great candidates, we’ve put Connecticut on the national map and remain the bluest state in the country after all these tough midterm elections,” she wrote.

DiNardo said she had discussed the decision with Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. In a statement from a party spokesman, Malloy called DiNardo an “indispensable leader.”

“She was an extraordinary chair who has led our party to critical victories this past November and in years past, and the lieutenant governor and I are grateful that she will continue to serve Connecticut Democrats,” Malloy said.

DiNardo even received kind remarks from her counterpart in the Republican Party.

“We’ve had a cordial relationship on a personal level and I wish her well,” Republican Party Chairman Jerry Labriola Jr.  said Friday. “Being the leader of a state political party is a tough job, so I respect and admire Nancy’s staying power.”

Courtesy of the Democratic Party
The governor also said he believes Balletto, who has been vice chair for the past four years, “would do an excellent job in the role of chair.”

Before becoming vice chair of the party, Balletto chaired the Democratic Town Committee in New Haven in 2001 and he helped Malloy’s successful efforts in that city during his 2010 campaign. Balletto is an accountant who lives in Guilford.