Tuesday, February 26, 2013

CDTC Chair's letter to the Sun

A version of this letter ran in the Westerly Sun on February 26:

Just some of our winning candidates

To the Editor:

Most of Dave Pepin’s February 16 article, “Republicans trying to revive party in Charlestown,” was quite accurate, as well as interesting reading, but as Chair of the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee, I must correct the mistaken impression that our Committee only managed to get two Democrats elected to office in 2012.

The CDTC endorsed ten candidates and five of those candidates won. Topping our ticket was Rep. Donna Walsh who won by the widest margin of her political career. She was also the highest vote-getter in Charlestown. Ironically, she won over Tina Jackson who features in the article as having been recruited by state GOP chair Mark Zaccaria to somehow “reorganize” the town Republicans, without even consulting them.

We also provided the winning margin that elected Cathie Cool Rumsey as the new State Senator representing District 34. She defeated two-term Republican incumbent Frank Maher.

We elected Paula Andersen to the Town Council with the second highest vote total, Brandon Cleary to the Planning Commission and Henry Walsh as Town Moderator.

We helped to raise lots of money for Senator Whitehouse's election, too
Plus, we turned out the vote to help re-elect Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Rep. Jim Langevin by wide margins.

Yes, we would have liked to have won all ten seats where we had endorsed candidates, but batting .500 for our first full season is pretty decent.

We empathize with the problems town Republicans face in revitalizing their committee because we faced them ourselves. Our own committee only won formal recognition in May 2010 when we filled a year and a half long void during which there was no Democratic Town Committee.

We recruited and rebuilt the town committee, raised more money than any previous town party committee, brought our message to Charlestown citizens and, in my opinion, did well in 2012.

I predict we will do even better in 2014 as Charlestown tires of the Charlestown Citizens Alliance’s program of negativity, fear tactics and favoritism for non-resident shoreline property owners. We will continue to stand for fair taxation, real environmental progress that includes more than just open space, opportunities for small businesses and a better Charlestown for ALL of its citizens.

Catherine O’Reilly Collette, Chair
Charlestown Democratic Town Committee