Mark Friedman / File photo

By John Schwing

WESTPORT — Mark Friedman, chairman of the Westport Democratic Town Committee since last March, who helped orchestrate a sweeping victory by local Democrats in elections earlier this month, is stepping down from the post.

In an email to town committee members Friday, Friedman said that he made the decision to resign “immediately” because “I need to be more available to both my immediate family and to my parents at this juncture.”

Saying the decision to step down was not “easy,” Friedman added that he intends to remain a member of the committee.

Friedman was the vice chairman of the Westport’s dominant political party when he was elected in March to serve in the top post, succeeding Ellen Lautenberg.

At the time, Democrats were coming off another unsuccessful campaign to win the first selectman’s seat after Republican Jennifer Tooker narrowly beat state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg. Tooker’s victory kept the first selectman’s post in GOP hands, succeeding Jim Marpe, who held the job for eight years.

This year, however, Democrats won every contest on Westport’s Nov. 8 election ballot, with Steinberg claiming a seventh term representing the 136th House District and two newcomers winning open legislative seats — Ceci Maher in the 26th Senate District and Dominique Johnson in the 143rd House District. Lisa Wexler also won another term as Westport/Weston judge of probate.

Democrats running at the top of the ticket — Gov. Ned Lamont, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and U.S. Rep. Jim Himes — also rolled up big victory margins in Westport.

Friedman hailed the election results as a “Blue Wave,” adding, “This tremendous success represents many powerful strands coming together within our DTC.”

The fall campaign succeeded, Friedman said, with improved fundraising, communications and recruiting volunteers, which give Democrats “a unique opportunity to transition before the municipal election cycle and to harness the elevated excitement of those who have deepened their engagement this year.”

He closed by saying, “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve” as the party’s chairman.

John Schwing, the Westport Journal consulting editor, has held senior editorial and writing posts at southwestern Connecticut media outlets for four decades. Learn more about us here.