Notable History of the Stonington Republican Town Committee
In 1933 the Republican Club was formed in the Borough;
In 1948 Congressman Richard Nixon came to Stonington to debate the issue “Should the Communist Party be Outlawed”;
The Hon. Mary Howard “Billy” Boatwright was a Republican Member of the Stonington Borough Board of Warden and Burgesses from 1960-1964. From 1962-1966 she served as a Member of the Connecticut House of Representations from the 43rd District which included Stonington and North Stonington. Later she was appointed Republican National Committeewoman from Connecticut serving from 1972-1990. Boatwright served for many years on the SRTC.
William S. “Bill” Brown of Pawcatuck served as Selectman from 1983[?]-2007 and as 1st Selectman from 2004-2007. Among his many accomplishments were $100,000 for the Donahue Park bulkhead, the Pawcatuck Tree Program, $100,000 for the Granato Senior Center, the Stonington Adopt a Road Program and the New Power Grid for the Town Dock. Brown was a longtime member of the SRTC.
Michael J. H. Blair was born and raised in Belfast, Ireland, moving to Stonington Borough in 1983 with his family. Although new to the Town, he became involved in the Borough Republican Party Committee and went on to serve three terms as Borough Warden and two terms as a Burgess. He also worked as Chief of Staff to Congressman Robert R. “Rob” Simmons. Michael was a Member of the SRTC from 1966 until he dies in 2016.
The Hon. Cathy Cook of Groton, CT, was elected to 18th District Senate seat in 1992 and went on to serve a total of years representing three Boroughs and eight Towns including Stonington in the State Senate. In 2001 she was honored as the National Legislator of the year by the Biotechnology Industry Association for her support of a “research-based bioscience cluster in Connecticut.”
Dorothy Papp elected 1st female Warden of the Borough in 1993 following the three-term service of Republican Michael J.H. Blair who decided not to run for re-election. She served successfully for three terms before running unsuccessfully for Stonington 1st Selectman.
Corrine Kelly elected 1st female Chair of the Board of Education;
The Hon. Robert R. “Rob” Simmons was elected to the 43rd Assembly seat from 1991-2001 replacing Republican Frank Turek who died in office in May 1991. In 2000, Simmons defeated 20-year incumbent Democrat Congressman Sam Gejdenson of Bozrah, becoming the first Stonington resident elected to Congress in the Town’s history. He served as Connecticut’s 2nd Congressional District Representative from 2001-2007, and was praised for helping save the Submarine Base, supporting Veterans Health and promoting open-source intelligence. Thereafter he was appointed Stonington Selectman for two years replacing Glee McAnanly before being elected as 1st Selectman from November 2015 to November 2019 with Mike Spellman and John Prue as his Republican running mates. Simmons was elected to the SRTC in 1986 and, except for two years when he chaired the Board of Police Commissioners, has been a member ever since. He was SRTC Chair from 1988-1992.
In 2009, businesswoman Glee McAnanly of Pawcatuck was the first woman elected to the Board of Selectmen. Re-elected on 2011, she ran for 1st Selectman against Ed Haberek in 2013 losing a tight race by 45 votes.
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