Johnston Democratic Town Committee reorganizes for 2023

Joseph Ballirano named chairman


“I love this town … I live and work here and care about what happens to it!”

Those were the words of attorney Joseph R. Ballirano last Thursday night after being unanimously elected Chairman of the Johnston Democratic Town Committee (JDTC).

Ballirano, who has represented the town in some capacity for 29 of the last 30 years, continued amid applause: “Johnston is not San Antonio, Texas or New York City; we are a small community, we all know each other so we need to keep it a great place to live!”

He also emphasized: “I just hope I can do as well as Richard DeFino did for the Democratic Party.”

DelFino, who has worn many hats and enjoyed successes in Johnston and the state throughout the years, made his final remarks to the JDTC during a fun-and-food-filled special session inside the famed Maria Ss Della DiFessa Society off Lafayette Street in Johnston.

The meeting, which people like long-time JDTC member Fred Iafrate called “a very special night,” began with salad, delicious pasta with broccoli and chicken parmesan dinner prepared by another dedicated long-time JDTC member, former State Rep. John Carnevale, who now performs many important duties at the DiFesa Society.

There was also a special election of Flora Turchetti and Frank DiMaio as the newest members of the JDTC who were recommended by District 2-Town Council Vice President Lauren Garzone.

DelFino, who chaired the JDTC for the past 14 years, also issued a heartfelt thank you to around 50 members, headed by Mayor Joseph Polisena Jr.

“I’m not going away,” DelFino mused. “I’m handing the reins to my food friend Joe Ballirano We’ve been good friends and political allies since the early 1980s, when I served as chairman of the Johnston School Committee and Joe served as President of the Town Council.”

Recently, DelFino led his position as Johnston Municipal Court Administrator where he worked alongside Ballirano who served as prosecutor for the past 10 years. Meanwhile, DelFino has since assumed the position as the Executive Director at the Johnston Senior Center.

During his closing statement DelFino thanked former Mayor Joseph M. Polisena for leadership, trust and friendship along with his son, the new mayor, who he said, “in a very short time has proven to be an effective leader and rising star in the Democratic Party.”

Also, DelFino wanted it known: “It has been a privilege to lead this great group; I have every confidence that Joe Ballirano will do a fine job.”

To which Ballirano offered: “I’m looking forward to working with Mayor Polisena Jr. and all elected officials to keep the Democratic Party as strong as possible.”


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