‘I’ll do the right thing’: Milford man hopes to be chairman of CT Republican Party

Christopher Lancia is running for the chairmanship of the State Central Republican Party.

Christopher Lancia is running for the chairmanship of the State Central Republican Party.

Republican Town Committee / Contributed photo

MILFORD - When the call came, Christopher Lancia was ready and willing to do the right thing, he said.

“I don’t want to be governor, a state rep or a mayor, I want to get this party up,” said Lancia, a member of the Milford Republican Town Committee who served as campaign manager for Margaret Streicker’s campaign in the 3rd Congressional District. “We have to go back to basics, our core values, and get everyone on same page.”

Lancia has announced his candidacy for chairman of the state Republican Party. If successful, he would replace J.R. Romano, who held the seat for the past six years is not seeking re-election.

“I was approached to run, and I’ll do the right thing,” Lancia said.

Raised in Bridgeport and a 1989 graduate of Central High School, Lancia worked in the cable industry for 15 years, then joined the Coast Guard and worked as a Federal police officer at the Naval Submarine Base in Groton.

He said his background could help the Republican Party make inroads with traditional Democratic voters in the cities.

“I’m an inner-city kid. I remember when there were two parties in Bridgeport,” he said. “We must come back to that. There must checks and balances.”

With a background in management, Lancia said he would be an ideal candidate to reach out to children in schools and talk about topics such as training, hiring and positioning themselves to succeed.

He knows it won’t be easy, though. The party is currently split and, in Connecticut at least, unpopular, he said.

“It will be hard fought, and we must bring the people back,” he said. “We must be more reactive to what is going on around us. In the end, we must run our own state, get the grassroots back, get back lower taxes, give people the chance to get their own businesses.”

The lessons were reinforced when he walked door-to-door campaigning with Streicker.

“The fascinating part was when we went into an old neighborhood in New Haven,” he said. “We went into a barber shop, and the barber said to me, ‘You must be a city kid?’ and I said that I was and he said, ‘I’ve never met a Republican before in my life.’”

Lancia said he understands the divide, and can help bridge it.

“I understand that they don’t know who a Republican is because I came from the same part - New Haven, Bridgeport, Hartford it is all the same,” he said. “Once you are a city kid you will always be a city kid and they understand that. We need to get into those neighborhoods.”

The first step, he said, it coordinating better communication among the local party officials, another lesson from the Streicker campaign.

“I dealt with 26 different town chairmen and there were disconnects,” he said. “One town chair didn’t know the town chair who was only one town away. We need everyone to pool their resources.”

As the party gears up for the 2022 gubernatorial election, the candidate must be a good listener, Lancia said.

“We must get someone who hears from our constituents,” he said. “No one is going to be right all the time. It can’t be about ego, even if you think you are right. There should only be one ego, the people of Connecticut and a person that wants to do better for them.”

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354