Another election cycle, another set of embarrassing defeats for the leadership of the North Haven Democratic Town Committee. One would think that with anti-Trump sentiment at an all-time high and with Connecticut being a deep blue state with a Democratic governor and a Democratic super majority in Hartford, that this would be the year that NHDTC candidates could make some great gains. Unfortunately, and with utter embarrassment and humiliation, the Democratic candidates both lost in a landslide. The candidates and their message were rebuked by North Haven voters.
It’s time to rebuild the NHDTC from the ground up.
NHDTC chairperson Kathy Grant ran against state Rep. Dave Yaccarino and was defeated 68.58 to 31.42 percent. Grant couldn’t even carry her home district or the heavily-Democratic district in this election.
To make matters worse, Grant, as chair of the NHDTC, couldn’t even deliver North Haven for Democratic senate candidate April Capone. This open seat was completely up for grabs, as Republican candidate Paul Ciccarella was a political novice. One would think that in this political climate and state, there would be enough Democratic support to ensure that at least North Haven would go for Capone. Unfortunately, no. Capone was soundly defeated, 62.87 to 37.13 percent. This is a complete shame and a huge missed opportunity for North Haven Democrats.
Grant and all other members of the NHDTC should accept responsibility and step down. They must recognize that it is time to elect new leadership, rebrand their message and find a new path forward that more closely resembles all North Haven voters, not just Democrats.
We need to be more inclusive and less divisive within our party, and unite around Democratic shared values that represent the morals and values of North Haven. We need candidates that can be competitive in local elections. Celebrating hollow victories in obtaining board seats and the cannibalization of its own members is not that path forward, it’s a path to irrelevancy.
Peter J. Criscuolo, Jr. is a former chairman of the North Haven Democratic Town Committee.