Shelton Democrat named state party vice chair

SHELTON — Helping others has become life’s work for Jimmy Tickey. 

The lifelong Shelton resident is most known for his achievements in the political arena — whether it's his election to local boards and commissions or his time working alongside Democratic U.S. Congress stalwarts Rosa DeLauro and Jim Himes.  

But Tickey says his efforts started from a desire to help other people. 

“At a young age I was involved in service and in my community through nonprofit organizations and student groups,” Tickey said. “I quickly learned that you can in fact have a life of service and dedicate yourself to helping others."

He found the thought of serving others appealing, he said.

“That opened a path I have been on, which has included serving in local organizations, and through public service," he said.

Tickey has served as community chair for the Valley United Way, raising $3 million for Valley projects; as a board member for the Boys and Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley; and more recently as a board member for Griffin Health, Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, and the Connecticut Planned Parenthood Action Fund. 

Tickey recently added his election as Connecticut Democratic Party vice chair to his resume — adding that to his role as district director for Himes, who represents the 4th Congressional District, which includes parts of Shelton.

"I provided guidance, advice, and spent my weekends at headquarters across Connecticut,” said Tickey about his vice chair role. 

A state vice chair spends a lot of time helping candidates organize and volunteers mobilize, Tickey said.

“My favorite way to help is to door-knock with candidates," he said. "Hearing directly from voters and being on the ground is the best way to help a campaign — and voters recognize hard work when they see it.” 

DeLauro said she saw Tickey’s political potential when he joined her team as campaign manager several years ago. 

"It quickly became clear that he had the political acumen to become a rising star in Democratic politics not only in his hometown but across the state,” DeLauro said about her initial impressions of Tickey.  

“With his further experience in state government, he has built strong relationships with community leaders which will only benefit the state Democratic Party and its mission,” she said. “He has the unique ability to understand both policy and politics and the way in which they can be leveraged to improve the quality of life for Connecticut residents. I am excited for him, and I look forward to working with him in his new role as vice chair.” 

Tickey joined Himes’ camp after years working alongside DeLauro and Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz. 

“Whether it’s organizing in the Naugatuck Valley or fighting for our values and democracy, Jimmy is an engaged and committed leader,” Himes said about Tickey. “Where some see roadblocks, Jimmy sees avenues of opportunity and gets the job done. When you bring that approach to the table, it makes all the difference.” 

Locally, Tickey is serving his third consecutive term on the Planning and Zoning Commission. In the last election, Tickey earned the largest number of votes of any Democrat in the city. 

Prior to his time as State Democratic Committee Vice Chair, Tickey founded the LGBT Caucus of the Connecticut Democratic Party, which is an organizing vehicle to engage more LGBT community members in the party. 

“Whether people wanted to volunteer, or run for office themselves, the caucus provided an opportunity to bring more people into the process who would not have traditionally been involved,” he said. 

That model was such a success, he has since been involved in the creation of other caucuses including a rural caucus for those living in rural communities, a disability caucus, and a veteran's caucus. 

In addition to the caucuses, Tickey has been working with Connecticut Democrats Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo to provide more resources to candidates and local leaders and have started a monthly campaign training series. 

“I don't know what exactly the future holds, but I plan to do what I’ve always done: listen to others, stand up for what I believe in and never be outworked,” Tickey added.