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Hartford Democratic Town Committee Finally Has Its Leader

By STEVEN GOODE

April 08, 2010

Jean Holloway has been elected chairwoman of the Hartford Democratic Town Committee.

Again.

Holloway thought she had won the seat at the first vote March 11, but the election was disputed when temporary Chairman Ramon Arroyo cast a second vote for Holloway to break a 33-33 tie with Sean Arena. Arena was seeking a second two-year term as chairman.

The question of whether Arroyo could cast a second vote one as a committee member and one as temporary chairman to break the tie was appealed to a dispute resolution panel of the Democratic State Central Committee. That committee determined that the whole election should be done again.

The second vote was held Tuesday, with Holloway winning 33-32. The tiebreaker this time was state Rep. Hector Robles, who voted for Arena in March but abstained this time. He could not be reached Wednesday to explain his abstention.

Holloway said Wednesday that she wasn't surprised at the result and that she planned to do things differently from her predecessor. She spoke of getting the town committee back to working hard for candidates, as she was taught by committee veterans like Steve Harris and Lou Watkins, who was elected deputy chairman.

"They taught me that when you endorse a candidate, you campaign for that candidate all the way through the primary and the election," she said.

She said the results of a lack of campaigning could be seen in the most recent board of education election, in which the Democrats lost two seats to the Working Families Party.

Holloway said she also planned to make the town committee leadership more inclusive by listening to all viewpoints, including those of members who voted for Arena.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
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