Art Tillman has announced that he will step down as Chair of the Southold Democratic Committee on January 11, 2018. Kathryn Casey Quigley will take over as chair, pending a vote by the Committee. Southold Democratic Club Co-President Damon Rallis is expected to be appointed to the Vice Chair position.
“I have enjoyed the opportunity to serve the party these past 5 years,” Tillman said. “I think we’ve seen some great growth, especially over the past year. We didn’t quite pull out a win this year, but it’s the closest we’ve come. New leadership can build on that. It’s time for a changing of the guard.”
Tillman explained that he made his recommendation because Casey Quigley had shown that she is willing to work hard for the party and she is part of a new generation of Democratic leaders in this town.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next,” Tillman said.
“I’m humbled and honored for the opportunity to serve as Chair of the party,” Casey Quigley said in a statement. “Art graciously welcomed me into the Committee last year, encouraged new initiatives and energy on several fronts, and now the party is stronger for it. He has dedicated himself tirelessly as Chair for 5 years, and we are indebted to him for his commitment and leadership. Art led with humility, openness and a belief in the importance of community. I hope to carry that example with me into this position.”
Casey Quigley is a 36-year-old mother of two. She grew up in Mattituck and returned to the North Fork in 2011. She has a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University, and counts her time working on the Obama campaign in 2008 in Pennsylvania and Indiana as a big influence on her desire to stay engaged in politics. The former president’s recent call to young people to get involved locally, combined with the desire to see more women in positions of political leadership, inspired her to join the party.
“It was an honor to work with this great slate of candidates as campaign manager this fall. And it was truly crushing to see a group of individuals who worked so hard and were so uniquely qualified, not be able to pull off a win,” she said. “I want to be part of ensuring that doesn’t happen again. My ultimate goal is to create a healthy, vibrant and active party that can ensure wins for the best possible candidates to lead this town. In order to get there, we need to attract new people to the party, raise more money, and build the case that Democratic values will strengthen Southold now and into the future.”
Rallis, a Southold Town employee, former Supervisor candidate and, most recently, a candidate for Southold Town Assessor, said he is pleased with Tillman’s decision and is looking forward to working with Casey Quigley.
“I am so thankful to be a part of this organization at such an exciting time in our history and I am honored be named Vice Chair.” he said. “Having spent more than five years as an active committee member, and the last year working side-by-side with Kathryn, I have no doubt that she will do great things for our party and that we will make a great team.”.
“It’s a great committee,” Casey Quigley said. “There’s a core group of hard-working, dedicated, long-term members, who know all the history and the ins and outs of local politics. I’m excited to learn from them. And there’s a more recent influx of members eager to get to work, which is great energy to build from.”
She continued, “I see my role as an organizer, to engage as many people as possible on the issues impacting this town. I look forward to connecting with many people, such as small business owners, farmers, and community leaders, regardless of party affiliation, to see how the Democrats can respond to their concerns for Southold. The Democratic party in Southold, ust as it is nationwide, is positioned to make great strides. It’s an exciting time ”