WILTON, Conn. -- The Wilton Democratic Town Committee made history at last week's meeting, electing the youngest chairman in its history.
Thomas C. Dec, 21, was unanimously elected to fill the unexpired term of the former chairman through January 2014. He is a 2009 Wilton High graduate and graduated with distinction in 2013 from Yale University, earning a degree in Intensive Political Science.
He was nominated by nominating committee chair Paul Burnham, and seconded by Wilton Selectman Ted Hoffstatter.
As the new town chairman, Dec wants to implement a plan to increase Democratic victories at the local and state level. “Wilton Democrats can point to a number of successes in recent years,” Dec said in a statement. “And we will be working to build upon that foundation with an unprecedented level of engagement with residents in town.”
State Democratic leaders offered support. “We congratulate Tom on his recent election to chair and look forward to partnering with him to build on the momentum created by the Wilton Democrats,” said Nancy DiNardo, chair of the Connecticut Democratic State Central Committee. “Democratic candidates have won contested municipal elections in many of Wilton’s neighboring towns, and we see Wilton as an opportunity for the party into the future."
A Wilton native, Dec became involved in politics in the summer of 2007, after completing his sophomore year of high school. He was the state’s high school coordinator for Students for Barack Obama. In October 2007, he traveled to Des Moines, where he met with Obama and other high schoolers to steer the student arm of Obama for America.
In early 2008, Dec began attending monthly meetings of the Wilton DTC. That summer, he interned for the campaign of U.S. Rep. Jim Himes and worked as paid field staff for the Connecticut Democrats. He attended the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver as a guest.
In 2009, Dec graduated from Wilton High School and accepted a position with Stamford mayoral candidate, David Martin. He voted in his first municipal election that November.
In the spring of 2010, Dec was hired by Himes’ re-election campaign as operations coordinator. That spring he was also elected to serve on the Wilton delegation to the Democratic State Convention, where he supported Dannel Malloy’s bid for governor. Dec was unanimously elected to the DTC in July 2010 as an official member at the age of 18.
In 2012, he returned to Himes’ re-election campaign as deputy political director and operations director. He also served as a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., the youngest man in the delegation.
At Yale, Dec served on the executive board of the Liberal Party of the Yale Political Union and Yale Model Congress. He was awarded the Saslow Prize for his senior thesis, written on the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.
In February, he began work as deputy campaign manager for Martin, who launched his second campaign for mayor of Stamford.
Dec continues to live in Wilton with his family. He has two siblings, Matthew, 20, a junior at the University of Delaware, and Briana, 17, a senior at Wilton High. Dec plans to go to graduate school and pursue a career in public service.
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