ESSEX— Town Democrats and Republicans selected new town committees for the 2012-2014 term at party caucuses held over the past week.
Democrats picked a 29 member town committee at a caucus Tuesday. All of the members are incumbents, with the exception of Selectwoman Stacia Libby. A Republican until last July, Libby joined the Democrats when she was picked by Democratic First Selectman Norman Needleman as his running-mate for board of selectmen in the 2001 town election Both Needleman and Libby were elected to the board.
The only departure from the 2010-2012 Democratic Town Committee was Anthony Chirico. A former Republican who ran unsuccessfully for the 33rd Senate District seat in 2000 and 2002, Chirico later became a Democrat and joined the town committee in 2004. Chirico had challenged Needleman for the party endorsement for first selectman last summer, but did not force a primary for the nomination after the town committee backed Needleman. Sources said Chirico had declined an opportunity to remain on the town committee.
The Essex Democratic Town Committee for 2012-2014 includes Alvin Wolfgram, Brian Cournayer, Campbell Hudson, former First Selectman Carl Ellison, Cathy Bishop, Claire Tiernan, Earl Fowler, Frederick Vollono, Geraldine Ficarra, James Spallone, James Francis, Jonathan James, Kay Tucker, Lawrence Shipman, Lee Rowley, Lois Ely, Lon Seidman, Louisa Ketron, Mary Ann Plevca, Matthew Cooper, Mark Bombaci, Tax Collector Megan Haskins, Needleman, former first selectman and 36th District State Rep. Phill Miller, Frank Hall, Stan Sheppard, John Stannard, William Doane, and Libby. Vollono is the current Democratic town chairman.
Republicans picked a 27-member town committee at the caucus last week. Committee membership is down from the 31 members that served form 2010-2012, with two new members. Seven incumbents did not continue on the town committee, including George Antone, Gary Baier, former First Selectman Bruce Glowac, Roger Kern, Janet Peckinpaugh, Mark Pratt and Jeff Woods. Peckinpaugh, a former television news anchorwoman, had run unsuccessfully for the 2nd Congressional District seat in 2010, and was Miller’s Republican opponent in the 36th House District special election last February.
The Essex Republican Town Committee for 2012-2014 includes John Ackerman, Susie Beckman, Kenneth Bombaci, Herb Clark, Edward Cook, Alexander Daddona, Ann Dixon, Lynn Faulstick, ED. G. Fitton, Adrienne Forrest, John Heiser, James Hill, Donna Hyde, Jerri MacMillian, Selectman Joel Marzi, Republican State Central Committeeman Neil Nichols, Leigh Rankin, Brabara Ryan, Elizabeth Schellens, David Sousa, Terry Stewart, Alice Van Duersen, Gary Van Duersen, and Jane Willson. New members are Peter Decker and Robert Fisher. Cook is the current Republican Town Chairman.