Veteran Campaign Strategist Named New Chair of Stratford Democratic Town Committee
Stratford, June 21, 2022: The new chair of the Stratford Democrats states, “Our united, energized Democratic Party has me working toward a goal of full voter participation in all of our elections.”
“There are days where it is as if I feel the foundation of our democracy shake. For me, civic engagement helps restore a sense of calm and that shows up as volunteering and voting, both essential to our town committee. We are rebuilding, with new and returning members, and I strongly believe our outreach and engagement with voters across town will drive this aspirational goal,” Kathleen Callahan said.
The Stratford Democratic Town Committee unanimously elected Callahan to the top position Thursday night, following the resignation of party chair Steve Taccogna, who had served in the position since March 2020.
Callahan has been actively engaged with the Stratford DTC for the past four years, working as a strategist on local and statewide campaigns. She ran unsuccessfully as a town council candidate in District 10 in the 2021 municipal elections.
She told SDTC members, “My connection to politics is through my father, growing up with him as the chair of the Stamford Democratic Town Committee. I still vividly recall 6 or 7-year-old me, sneaking out of bed and sitting on the top of the stairs, mesmerized by conversations I did not understand yet found fascinating.”
She then spent over two decades as a software engineer and recently transitioned to a career as a social worker, focused on legislative advocacy and elevating community voices.
“I never stop learning, I am tenacious, I build broad coalitions, I understand systems, and I believe that relationships are the key to change and trust is the key to most everything in life,” she said in a statement to SDTC members.
On May 24, Taccogna told SDTC members he could no longer devote the time needed and deserved from its leadership. He said he will remain a member of the SDTC, and he endorsed Callahan to be his successor.
Callahan “will be able to carry the mantle of leadership and continue to advance this committee forward for the betterment of Stratford and the State of Connecticut,” he said. “Kathleen has been a key contributor to our successful campaigns over the past several years, was a Town Council candidate in our last election cycle, and remains a tireless advocate for Stratford and Democratic principles at every level of government. I believe she will be a catalyst to greater achievements over the next few years.”
The SDTC Vice Chair, Immacula Cann, declined to move up to the top position. She endorsed Callahan and thanked Taccogna for “taking the helm in 2020 and holding so many key roles within the SDTC. We had some historic wins due to your leadership!”
Cann said she recently served with Callahan on the Pre-Convention Platform Committee for the Democratic State Central Committee. “I witnessed her incredible efforts to help craft a meaningful and quality platform. Kathleen has the expertise, know-how, and skills to successfully lead our team. She is determined, responsive, and a meticulous planner with exceptional implementation expertise.”
Callahan was nominated for the position by Karen Tracy.
“Yes we are married but I think it’s okay for me to make an unapologetic and enthusiastic nomination. She looks at life as a social worker – someone who deeply cares about each person’s world” Tracy said.
“When Kathleen ran for office she knocked on so many doors in our district and spoke to hundreds of our neighbors. Those conversations were affirming; we all love living here and want to stay and thrive in Stratford. It’s challenging though as this town faces many headwinds but Kathleen sees a way forward. We need a smart, thoughtful person who can research and float positive achievable ideas. All our wellbeing and future has galvanized her to run to seek the chairmanship of the 18th most populous town in Connecticut,” Tracy continued.
Callahan said she would first focus on helping the strong slate of Democratic candidates running for the state legislature this year. Next year, most Republican members of the Town Council will not be able to run again due to term limits, she noted, providing an opportunity for the party to reclaim control of the Council.