The Darien Republican Town Committee Wednesday elected Vice Chairman Jim Palen to succeed former Chairman Bob Bewkes who stepped down as committee chairman last month.

According to a press release, Palen, a Darien resident for nine years, has been a member of the RTC for two years and served as the committee's vice chairman for the past 18 months where he, along with Bewkes, energized the RTC with their leadership, hard work and transparency. Palen has also been a member of the

Darien Representative Town Meeting for three years where he serves on the finance and budget committees. The RTC filled the vacancy created by Bewkes with David Orner. An 18-year Darien resident, Orner is a financial services executive and holds various degrees including double majors in finance and economics from the University of Tampa, a JD from Rutgers University School of Law and a LLM (Tax) from New York University School of Law, the release stated. He is also a former intelligence officer in the United Stated Navy and veteran of Operation Desert Storm.

The Darien Republican Town Committee recruits and recommends qualified candidates for local appointed boards and commissions and supports local, state and federal candidates for office. For more information email info@darienrtc.com or visit www.darienrtc.com.

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