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Chafee Names Taylor to Department of Elderly Affairs

Saturday, December 04, 2010


Governor-elect Lincoln Chafee has appointed Catherine Taylor to be the Director of the Department of Elderly Affairs, his transition office announced yesterday.

Taylor, a long-time speechwriter for Chafee and his father, former Senator John Chafee, narrowly lost the race for Secretary of State as a Republican candidate. She is the first Republican Chafee has named to his administration.

“Catherine is a natural leader of fierce intellect and uncompromising values,” Chafee said. “She proved over the course of her campaign for Secretary of State that she is a determined and pragmatic problem-solver who approaches the challenges facing our state with energy and thoughtfulness.”

“Rhode Island has one of the highest per capita populations of seniors in the country,” he added. “It is essential that our state government is attentive to the needs and challenges of this important group of citizens. Catherine will be a responsive, responsible, and excellent Director of the Department of Elderly Affairs.”

Taylor praised Chafee for making appointments from both parties. “I have long known and admired Governor-elect Chafee, and I am honored that he has given me this opportunity to serve an important population of Rhode Islanders,” she said. “Governor-elect Chafee is not afraid to draw from various political backgrounds – he wants the very best and most capable people serving in state government, regardless of political affiliation.”

Republican spokesman criticizes the appointment

A former spokesman for fellow Republican candidate John Robitaille criticized the appointment, saying he was “disappointed” Taylor would take a position in the administration. Mike Napolitano, who is also the chairman of the Lincoln Republican Town Committee and a delegate to the state central committee, said the appointment would make it harder for Taylor to work with Republicans against Chafee in the 2012 elections.

“I’m a little disappointed. She did a very good job as a candidate and we’d thought she could have been an asset,” Napolitano told GoLocalProv. “We need to grab the bull by the horns and get ready for the next two years. We need all our people who ran for office who were figureheads and it would have been nice if she were part of the team.”


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