Making political history in Cheshire: Democrat Jo-Ann Vitarelli is the first woman to be a candidate for Cheshire Constable
CHESHIRE - For years women have been very active in politics in Cheshire, they have held many town government positions and made an impact in the future of the town.
At this stage of the 21st Century you would think all the gender barriers would have been broken.
But Cheshire Democrat Jo-Ann Vitarelli is making history.
Cheshire Town Clerk Laura Brennan recently did some research for this political blogger and confirmed Vitarelli is making history this local election cycle as the first woman campaigning for Cheshire Constable.
“The simple and honest reason that I am running is to have a Democratic name on the ballot for voters to choose from on Election Day,” Vitarelli said. “(Current Constable) Ron Gagliardi is running as a Town Council At-Large candidate and it was important for me to have a Democratic presence on the ballot for Constable.”
Currently, the list is a long one of the Democratic women making an impact on local government. Among them are Democratic Town Council incumbent Patti Flynn-Harris and Democratic Board of Education members Kathryn Fabiani (candidate for re-election), Cathy Hellreich, Marlena Soble, Anne Harrigan, Neeta Vatti. Flynn-Harris is seeking re-election as a Town Council At-Large candidate. Also throwing her hat into the ring this election cycle is Democratic Town Council At-Large candidate Kim Cangiano. And of course there is former Cheshire Town Councilor and now U.S. Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty who is working hard for our town and district.
Cheshire Democratic Town Council candidate Gagliardi is convinced Vitarelli has the qualities to be a successful Constable.
When it comes to being a Constable, Gagliardi, who has served several terms as Cheshire Constable, said if you are a Constable in a town that does not have a police department Constables can make arrests. In a town like Cheshire, which has its own police department, Gagliardi said, "Constables basically only serve legal papers."
“Regarding having a woman serving as a Constable, I am a raging feminist, I was a member of the Cheshire Democratic Women's Club for a while, so I think it's fantastic that Jo-Ann is a candidate for Constable,” Gagliardi said. “I think it's cool that the first woman in Cheshire history to ‘run’ for the position of Constable is Jo-Ann Vitarelli.
“I think she has a cheery demeanor and is now and always has been a hard worker for the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee and for the Cheshire Democratic Womens' Club. I am sure she would serve as a Constable with the same level of dedication.”
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.