GOP expects to name Beckwith as new party chairman at meeting tonight

Leaders of Milford’s Republican Party expect that Paul Beckwith will be officially named the new GOP chairman at a meeting Thursday night.

Beckwith has been tapped to fill the unexpired term of Lisa Bull DiLullo, who resigned after the November election. Her term runs until the beginning of 2114.

Town Committee Vice Chairman Bill Bevan said he asked Beckwith to consider taking on the post, and then gave him awhile to think about it.

The job will have some definite goals, since Milford is now largely under Democratic control and Republicans would like to take some of that back.

During the administrations of the late Fred Lisman and then James Richetellli Jr., the GOP enjoyed a hearty majority and leadership role in the city.

Beckwith said he believes 22 years of Republican mayoral control helped put the city in the solid financial ground it’s on today.

While he will no doubt be working to get more Republicans onto city boards and commissions in November, and while the GOP is looking at several people interested in running for mayor, neither Beckwith nor Bevan have jabs to aim at Democratic Mayor Ben Blake.

In fact, both said they think he’s done a good job.

“The Republicans left the city in good shape for Ben Blake, and I’m glad to see he’s continued that,” Beckwith said.

The Republicans have had a bit of changeover on the town committee over the years. Before DiLullo, Republican Tom Jagodzinski served as chairman, and before him Win Smith.

Bevan said he thinks Beckwith is a good choice to take over DiLullo’s spot because he’s “open-minded” and able to work with people of different parties for the good of the city.

Beckwith has served on the city’s Board of Education, Board of Finance and Board of Aldermen. He is currently on the Pension Board.

One of his key jobs, Beckwith said, will be to make sure to get out a clear message of what Milford Republicans stand for: fiscal responsibility and maintaining a solid city government without breaking the bank.

“We have to keep our fiscal house in order,” Beckwith said, adding that the GOP believes in a downscaled government, not one that grows and grows and costs more money each year.

Bevan said Beckwith will be nominated Thursday night prior to a Republican Town Committee meeting.

Bevan doesn’t expect any other names to be offered from the floor, and he said Beckwith appears to have wide support from the party.