About The Connecticut Republican Party
Chairman J.R. Romano
J.R. Romano has dedicated a majority of his professional career to Connecticut Republican politics, during which he has acquired a unique depth of knowledge of the Connecticut political landscape. A Connecticut native, J.R. was raised in Derby, graduated from Trinity College and currently lives in Branford.
Under the direction of three Connecticut Republican Chairman (DePino, Sherperdson, Hamzy) he served as political director for over six years, understanding the mechanics of the State Central Committee and a variety of campaigns up and down the ballot; Gubernatorial, U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, State Senate to Mayors.
This included presenting himself as a candidate for Representative at 25. While his bid was unsuccessful by just 100 votes, in a district predominately Democrat by a 3-1 margin, his command over the issues and his passion for the community did secure him the an unusual Republican endorsement from the New York Times.
In 2010, J.R. managed the U.S. Senate bid of Peter Schiff. J.R.’s strategic and tactical campaign plan raised over $500,000 and enabled Peter to qualify for a primary through the convention process.
Statewide, J.R. ran the Connecticut arm of “Americans for Prosperity”. While in this role he raised over $1 million dollars and built the organization to over 80,000 members. In 2014, J.R.’s efforts with the Tim Herbst campaign for State Treasurer resulted in Tim’s outstanding under ticket campaign, despite the narrow loss. Team Herbst outperformed the top of the ticket in every Congressional District as well as state-wide.
Most recently, J.R. won the contested election last June as Chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party.
Over the other highly qualified candidates, J.R.’s measured, articulate and forthright manner along with his political depth prevailed. Within the first few months as chairman, J.R. has proven that he understand the politics of the press and is unafraid to articulate our Republican message. He is a Chairman who is focused on holding the Democratic opposition accountable for their failed policies and he has one goal…to ELECT MORE REPUBLICANS IN CONNECTICUT.
Vice-Chair, Sue Hatfield
Susan Whitman Hatfield is the vice chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party. She was elected by a unanimous vote to a two-year term that will end in June, 2021. A registered nurse and an attorney, Sue was the Republican nominee for state Attorney General in Connecticut in 2018. Shortly after announcing her candidacy she received the enthusiastic endorsement of former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, for whom she once worked as Policy Assistant (Legal).
Sue won the state convention endorsement in the spring, over a former three-term state representative, by a convincing three-to-one margin. She later soundly defeated that same opponent in the Republican Primary, capturing nearly 80-percent of the vote.
She lost the general contest in a Democrat Party wave election to a well-known six-term state representative who had run for statewide office previously. Still, she captured more votes (in excess of 633,000) than any Republican nominee for the office of Attorney General in the history of Connecticut, and won 115 of the state’s 169 cities and towns.
Throughout her career Sue has fought to keep and make Connecticut a safer place. Since 2005, she has served as a state prosecutor with the state Division of Criminal Justice where she was the first prosecutor to receive a conviction for the completed crime of human trafficking under Connecticut’s criminal statutes.
The wife of a recently-retired Connecticut State Trooper, Sue has seen first-hand the sacrifices our first responders make on a daily. She and her husband Nick reside in Pomfret with their two sons William (11) and Danny (7), and their Black Lab K-9, Dixie.
Treasurer, Warner “Chuck” Pyne
Warner (Chuck) Pyne III has been a member of Connecticut Republican State Central since 2011, representing the 17th Senatorial District (Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Derby, Hamden, Naugatuck and Woodbridge). He served as member of the Budget & Control Committee 2013-2015 and its Chairman from 2015 until being elected Party Treasurer in 2016. He served as the Secretary of the Woodbridge Republican Town Committee for four years and has been a member of the municipal campaign committee in Woodbridge for the past several election cycles.
Prior to moving to Connecticut, Chuck was an officer of the White Plain (NY) Republican Town Committee and served as campaign manager for several local candidates. He was also an active member of the Cheltenham (PA) Republican Town Committee prior to his move to New York.
Professionally, Chuck has been in the medical imaging industry for 35+ years in a variety of sales, operation and marketing management positions including time with Fuji Medical Systems (Stamford), Philips Medical (Shelton) and Dell/NTT DATA Services (Wallingford). He lives with his wife Holly of 30 years and has three adult children. He is a former Cubmaster in Woodbridge and religious education teacher at Our Lady of the Assumption parish.
Secretary, Laurie Williamson
Laurie has served several terms as State Central Committee Representative for Norwalk and Darien (S.D. 25). Throughout that time she was SCC’s acting Secretary when required to fill in for the Secretary’s absences.
Laurie has worked many years as an attorney in Connecticut and New York. Since 2004 she also has managed or otherwise volunteered in local, Probate District, Legislative, and State Republican campaigns. This campaign experience includes successful fund-raising, and detailed familiarity with reporting and other requirements of the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC). It spans campaign outset through conventions and elections.
She has supported local and regional Republican candidates through service as an officer of the Darien RTC and of a Congressional District Republican organization. Her community volunteer background in Darien includes elections to Darien’s Board of Education and CT Association of Boards of Education (CABE), and several terms on the Boards of the Darien Historical Society and the Southwest Regional Planning Agency (SWRPA).
Laurie and her husband Richard’s three adult children were raised in Darien, where she was a coach or team manager for their daughter’s local or travel basketball teams. She is a graduate of Duke, and Fordham University School of Law.
RNC Committeeman, The Honorable John H. Frey
State Representative John H. Frey was elected as the Connecticut National Committeeman to the Republican National Committee in January of 2007. He was elected to a full term in June, 2008. On the RNC, he serves on the Rules Committee, Redistricting Committee and Site Selection Committee (which will recommed the location on 2012 National Convention). Rep. Frey won re-election to serve as State Representative for the people of the 111th District on November 4, 2008. Serving in his sixth term, Representative Frey was re-appointed by the House Minority Leader, Larry Cafero, to serve as Minority Whip. Rep. Frey also serves on the Legislature’s Finance, Revenue, & Bonding Committee, the Banks Committee and is the lead Republican on the Select Committee on Aging. Before winning election to the state House of Representatives, former Governor John Rowland appointed Representative Frey ‘Chairman’ of the Connecticut Real Estate Commission in 1995, holding the distinct honor as the commission’s youngest Chairman in state history. Representative Frey is the Principal/Co-owner of Century 21 Landmark Properties in Ridgefield. Since founding the firm in 1992, he has provided full real estate service; specializing in residential, commercial, relocation and fine homes division. Representative Frey’s firm has received the distinguished “President’s Award” for top quality service and high production. Representative Frey resides on Copps Hill Road in Ridgefield.
RNC Committeewoman, Leora Levy
Leora has always felt that her life has been a blessed one. The driving principles of her life have been inspired by the concept of “tikkun olam,” “to repair the world: to raise her sons well, to give back to her community and to her country for those blessings from which she has benefited. The United States has been a haven and heaven for her family. Leora was born in Havana, Cuba and escaped Castro’s Communist Revolution with her family in 1960.
Mrs. Levy is proud to serve as the Republican National Committeewoman for the State of Connecticut and has made it her role to assist candidates from throughout CT to win! Concurrently, Leora has focused on educating donors throughout CT on how important it is for them to also support Republican candidates from all over the state, not just in their home districts if we want to take over the majorities in Hartford. As the Finance Chair for the Connecticut Republican Party, Leora raised over $2 million for the party, $1.8 million of that was for the Foley gubernatorial race that cycle. Leora has worked on national, state and local campaigns as a fundraiser, advisor and a volunteer, doing whatever was necessary to win from high level strategy meetings to grass roots door-knocking and making calls across the country. In the 2016, she served as a Trump surrogate for the Trump Campaign, debating Democrat Ann Lewis in Cleveland, OH. Leora has served on the Finance Committees for the RNC, the NRSC, the NRCC and the CTGOP. She learned to fundraise as a young member of the Leadership Development Division of the UJA/Federation of NY and the UJA National Women’s Cabinet!
Leora’s leadership in Jewish communal activities has included efforts in support of Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services an agency of UJA-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies in New York, the Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal, also a part of the UJA-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, the Joint Distribution Committee. Leora has also held events in her home for the Friends of the Israel Air Force and the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC where her husband, Steven Levy, served as a Trustee appointed by President George W. Bush. Leora served on the board of the Greenwich UJA Federation.
Leora was Co-Chairman of the Board of the Bruce Museum of Art and Science and served as a trustee there for many years. Leora also organized and successfully ran the campaign in Greenwich to relocate and build a new animal shelter, called “Shelter Our Strays.” She continues to administer a fund to support the shelter.
Leora has supported our active duty and military and veterans through her support for ECAD, an organization that trains and provides service dogs for our veterans and by also organizing a campaign to furnish the first two MTBI clinics for our wounded soldiers in Afghanistan.
Leora graduated from Brown University (A.B. International Relations) in 1978 and was a trader at Phibro Salomon (one of only a handful of women worldwide in that position at the time). Leora and her husband, Steven, have lived in Greenwich for 29 years and raised three Republican Zionist sons and six dogs there. Leora grew up in Charlotte, N.C. She is fluent in Spanish and French and loves to cook, travel and swim.