The Manchester Republican Town Committee met Thursday to appoint a new chairman and fill a vacancy on the Board of Education.
The committee unanimously selected Rudy Hrubala to replace Matthew Galligan as chairman, then tapped Ron Atwater to fill the Board of Education seat recently vacated by Merrill Kidd.
Galligan resigned last month after more than two years in the position after Republicans failed to capture any local legislative seats in the November election. Hrubala, who ran unsuccessfully for the 9th State House District Seat in November, is a former Marine who also brings private sector business experience to the committee. He said he is looking to revitalize the local Republican party by recruiting younger members, doing more outreach work in the community and through planned events.
"If we all contribute something during the next 12 months, we are going to succeed. I really believe that," Hrubala said after his selection became official. "I can't wait to roll up my sleeves and start working."
Atwater will replace Kidd, who has two years remaining on her term, until the next election cycle in November of next year, as dictated by town charter. Atwater is a social worker for a non-profit who has served on several local and state boards and ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the school board as a Republican in both 2009 and 2011. He has a daughter who is a junior at Manchester High School, which he said first led him to get involved in local politics when he and his family moved to Manchester eight years ago.
"I'm looking to bring new ideas, fresh ideas,," Atwater said when asked about his plans for the school board. "Especially for the Republican party. I feel it's becoming an extinct, non-entity."
During the meeting, Republicans also announced that Mary-Jane Pazda, a former member of the school board, intends to run for election to fill the final year for Kidd's former seat next November.
Kidd resigned from the Board of Education last month after a controversial first year on the school board.
In February, Kidd was accused of cyber bullying after sending alleged threatening and harassing Facebook posts to a fellow board member; Kidd was never charged in the incident. Shortly thereafter, Kidd declined to resign from the board and was instead stripped of all her subcommittee responsibilities by the Democratic majority members on the board; Kidd had been a registered Republican at the time, but later quit the party.
In October, Kidd said that the school board was to have met to discuss her performance on the board in a closed-door session, but that portion of the meeting was later removed from the agenda. And in November, police were called to Kidd's home after a domestic dispute between she and her husband, and police charged her with disorderly conduct.