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Lt. Gov. Wyman Tapped To Lead Conn. Democratic Party

Jessica Hill
Connecticut Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman reacts with emotion as she is honored by the State Senate at the Capitol in Hartford in May.

Outgoing Connecticut Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman will be the new chairwoman of the Connecticut Democratic Party.

72-year-old Wyman has been a state elected official in Connecticut since 1986 when she first won a seat in the state House of Representatives. She went on to win election as state comptroller in 1996 and then lieutenant governor in 2010. Wyman said she wants to expand the gains Democrats made in November’s election.

“We want to make more young people involved in our party. A much more diverse community into our party. We want to make sure that our municipal elections are as good as our state election was this year.”

Wyman is being tapped for the job after outgoing party chair Nick Balletto of New Haven was persuaded not to seek reelection.

“I was in the race, or wanted to run again, because I had not seen anyone that wanted to take over the party, that had the same ideas and was ready to carry the party forward and was dedicated as I was to the Democratic Party. And this is about the party for me and nothing else, and Nancy is the same way and always has been,” Balletto said.

Quinnipiac University political scientist Scott McLean said he believes Balletto is out because he was not an early supporter of Governor-elect Ned Lamont or Lt. Governor-elect Susan Bysiewicz.

“Nick Balletto, the outgoing chair, really didn’t back Lamont from the start. In fact [he] tried to dissuade him from even running. I don’t think Lamont easily forgets something like that,” McLean said.

Wyman said she’s happy she was asked to lead the party by Governor-elect Lamont.

“I’m very excited about fulfilling the wishes of our new governor-elect. And looking forward to working with the people of our party. I’m very thankful for the work that Nick Balletto has done, and I plan to build on that base.”

McLean said he expects most state Democratic party insiders will be happy with Wyman at the helm.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.