Congresswoman-elect Jahana Hayes picks New Britain resident as district director

Published on Wednesday, 12 December 2018 16:46
Written by Skyler Frazer


WASHINGTON – Just a month before she’s sworn into office, U.S. Rep.-elect Jahana Hayes, CT-05, announced Wednesday that a New Britain resident will be joining her team in Connecticut.

Hayes, a Democrat, announced several of her top-level hires Wednesday including naming Veronica DeLandro her District Director. DeLandro is the former clerk of committees for the city’s Common Council and ran for a seat on the council in 2017.

Hayes also announced that former Connecticut residents Joe Dunn and Jason Newton will be her chief of staff and communications director, respectively.

“I am very happy and excited to announce these first additions to our congressional office,” Hayes said in a statement. “As we build a staff to serve the residents of Connecticut’s Fifth District, recruiting a diverse group of talented professionals is paramount. These three have all served the people of Connecticut for years, and they will undoubtedly help me further serve the people of Connecticut’s Fifth District.”

In addition to her political experience, DeLandro worked at ESPN for six years and has worked with several area nonprofit organizations over the last 15 years. DeLandro currently serves as Director of Community Engagement for the Governor’s Prevention Partnership and she earned her Bachelor’s degree from Hampton University and her MPA from the University of Connecticut.

DeLandro said her experience working with local and statewide nonprofits gives her good experience to help Hayes. Her role as district director means she’ll be a liaison between Hayes and people in the state’s 5th Congressional District. She’ll work to keep the district informed and engaged, she said.

“We’re excited and we’re ready to go,” DeLandro said.

Bill Shortell, chairman of the New Britain Democratic Town Committee, praised the pick.

“Jahana Hayes picked an energetic, experienced, ‘woke’ member of the New Britain DTC,” Shortell told The Herald. “She will, I’m sure, be an essential component of the dream of many of us in New Britain to build the framework for change in our District, to break down the barriers between the poor cities and the suburbs, and to carry the fight to end chronic joblessness and other features of racism.”

Dunn is a two-time graduate of the George Washington University, and has worked in the office of U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-CT, since 2010. Newton, a graduate of Southern Connecticut State University, has more than a decade of experience in news and media relations. He first came to Capitol Hill in 2017 working as a Washington D.C. correspondent before becoming a press secretary for a congressman from Pennsylvania.

DeLandro will be based out of Hayes’ Fifth Congressional District office in Connecticut while Dunn and Newton will both be based out of her Washington, D.C. office.

While outgoing 5th District U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty’s district office was based in New Britain, Hayes will have her Connecticut office in her hometown of Waterbury.

DeLandro stepped down from her role as the Common Council’s Clerk of Committees in September to focus on her work. She was replaced by Lawrence Hermanowski.

Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain, Nation-World on Wednesday, 12 December 2018 16:46. Updated: Wednesday, 12 December 2018 16:48.