CHESHIRE--On Wednesday at the monthly Cheshire Democratic Town Committee meeting, there was a Democratic political changing of the guard in Cheshire.
The Cheshire Democratic Town Committee elected new officers for a two-year term as the CDTC and its new leaders enthusiastically prepare and plan for the upcoming presidential and state elections in the fall. Courtney Cullinan has been elected CDTC Chairperson, Attorney Matt Hall was elected Vice Chairperson, Therese Bradley was elected CDTC Secretary, Kim Cangiano was elected CDTC Treasurer and Pat McKinley was elected CDTC Deputy Treasurer.
CDTC Chairperson Judy Villa, a former Cheshire Town Councilor, CDTC Secretary Aleta Looker, a retired Cheshire Registrar of Voters who held the CDTC position for 20 years, and recent CDTC Treasurer Bill Tanner decided to step down when their biennial term ended.
Courtney Cullinan, Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Policy and Budget at Connecticut Senate Democrats who had served recently as CDTC vice chairperson, was elected as the CDTC’s new Chairperson.
"Judy Villa has done so much for this town," Cullinan said. "I am humbled and honored to have been elected to this position. I love Cheshire and am excited to serve our community for so many reasons.
“I am also privileged to be surrounded by a leadership team that is dedicated to our town. This is an incredibly important year for us. We need to fight to get our Democratic officials elected this fall on the state and national level."
Attorney Matt Hall, involved in numerous Cheshire community organizations over the years and a former Cheshire Town Councilor, was elected vice chairperson. Among the community organizations Hall has been involved with include Cheshire Junior Football, Cheshire (Connecticut) Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Mari Hall Family Foundation, Inc., Fundraising Cabinet, Elim Park Baptist Home Capital Project and Cheshire Junior Football, Inc.
“I’m really excited to be back involved with the CDTC,” Hall said. “We’ve assembled a strong team and behind Courtney’s leadership and we are looking forward to the national, state and local election cycles over the next two years and beyond.”
Therese Bradley, a project manager at Adtech Systems in Manchester, was elected CDTC Secretary. She also serves as Vice Chair/Treasurer for the CMS Cable Advisory Council.
“I joined the CDTC shortly after the 2016 election and was immediately impressed with the level of commitment of all the volunteers on the committee,” Bradley said. “I am proud to be a part of this organization and look forward to taking a more active role.”
Kim Cangiano, who has an extensive background in the insurance industry and a longtime community volunteer for youth football and Cheshire High football, was elected CDTC Treasurer. She was also on the Charter Revision Commission and is a past co-president of Highland Elementary School’s PTO.
“I am looking forward to continuing my time with the CDTC in this new role,” Cangiano said.
Pat McKinley is looking forward to serving as Deputy Treasurer.
“With a professional background in higher ed administration and forty years of board work for non-profits, I’m happy to continue in my role as Deputy Treasurer of the CDTC to help ensure that our financial records are accurate, transparent, compliant with all regulations, and sufficient for useful strategic analysis when needed,” McKinley said. “I appreciate the trust that CDTC members have in me by electing me to this office.”
Although Villa has stepped down as CDTC Chairperson, she has a long political history in Cheshire and continues to be a member of the CDTC. She served as a member of the Cheshire Board of Education from 1987-1990 and was a Cheshire Town Councilor from 1995-2001. She has been a member of the CDTC since 1998 and has served in many capacities as a Cheshire Democratic volunteer. She was a longtime CDTC vice chairperson before her election as chairperson in the spring of 2017. She has also held various positions on the Cheshire Democratic Women’s Club, including past president.
Dan Nowak is chairman of the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee's Communication Relations/IT Committee, a volunteer position. He is a Cheshire Parks and Recreation Commissioner and has been a sportswriter at the New Haven Register for 36 years.