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Dem mayoral hopefuls Miklave, Garfunkel qualify for primary ballot

Matt Miklave petition gathering

Common Councilman Matt Miklave, right, one of four Norwalk Democratic mayoral candidates, gets a petition signed by a Rilling for Mayor campaign worker last week.

Updated 7:11 p.m. Wednesday with statement from Vinny Mangiacopra.

NORWALK, Conn. – Matt Miklave and Andy Garfunkel will join fellow Democratic mayoral hopefuls Harry Rilling and Vinny Mangiacopra on the Sept. 10 Democratic primary ballot, according to Democratic Registrar of Voters Stuart Wells.Candidates need 775 verified signatures from registered Norwalk Democrats to qualify for the ballot.

In an email sent by Wells at 5:33 p.m., the following totals were released:

Garfunkel: 819 verified,none pending

Miklave: 820 verified, none pending

Mangiacopra: 905 verified, 86 pending

Rilling: 1,098 verified, 66 pending

“As of 9 a.m. today, this campaign had collected over 925 signatures,” according to a Wednesday press release from the Miklave campaign. … Our campaign had the highest verification rate of any campaign in this election. Over 87 percent of the signatures submitted to Wells were accepted.”

Miklave said in his press release it was his goal before the Democratic Town Committee’s nominating convention to force a primary election.

“We made a deliberate decision going into the DTC Convention to make sure that the voters in Norwalk, not party insiders, selected the individual to lead the ticket in November,” he said. “We won that fight. I am convinced that this campaign’s message of reform will win the day. We cannot claim to be in favor of openness, accountability and civility while we condone physical violence where folks who do not agree on the issues resort to their fists, rather than their votes. Nor can I condone the back-room maneuvering by party insiders throughout the nomination process.

“I am the Democrat running for mayor who has promised to take on the Norwalk DTC’s leadership and clean house. It’s simple. If Norwalk Democrats want the status quo, they can vote for the other guys. If they want reform, this campaign will lead the way.”

Mangiacopra’s campaign issued a statement Wednesday evening.

“We feel as energized as ever after completing this process,” Mangiacopra said in a press release. “We talked to hundreds upon hundreds of voters during the petition drive and received very positive feedback about our campaign. Voters want a fresh start and a new generation of leadership. We’re excited to offer them that option on September 10.”

Mangiacopra said his campaign, Norwalk’s Future Now, registered more than 200 new Democratic voters during the petition drive.

“We are pulling support from communities all over Norwalk and finding the voters are engaged and that there are people out there who want to get engaged but haven’t been before,” he said.

17 comments

RBurnett August 7, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Blah Blah Blah – when is this windbag going to realize he doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in h*ll.

Mr Norwalk Ct August 7, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Rburnett
That’s your opinion nothing more and nothing less. Clearly at least 775 democrats in Norwalk see it differently.

Asa H.M. August 7, 2013 at 3:42 pm

RBurnett – Funny how that “snowball” keeps rolling, getting bigger, and gathering support! You know what they say…”Slow and steady wins the race”. Just wait…you’ll see!

Don't Panic August 7, 2013 at 3:58 pm

The Democrats in this city who have been “sitting out” the last few years because they have been discouraged by the party (and by our government in general) now have a reason to get out and be heard. You can now say “enough is enough” by voting for Mr. Miklave in September.

NorwalkDinosaur August 7, 2013 at 5:36 pm

I love how Mr. Miklave is trying to portray himself as the anti-establishment, anti-NDTC “outsider” in this race! The guy has been in leadership positions with the NDTC for over 10-years. He has been on the common council doing nothing but blowing hot air for close to that amount of time, what a joke.

KSully August 7, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Dinosaur–An apt name. By your thinking, candidates should just get in line behind the rock’um-sock’um crowd that currently runs the NDTC. Good luck with that. The nice thing about Miklave’s “hot air” is it’s blowing in the right direction – a new direction for Norwalk Democrats. Miklave may bloviate, (a nod to L) but his words ring true. Miklave is the only hope for reform we have. Our only hope of reforming the Norwalk Democratic Party, reforming Norwalk’s City Hall, reforming the budget process and therefore how critical programs like education, crime prevention, senior services and economic development are funded. Further, budget reform is the only way to keep taxes in check as state funding continues to evaporate. Dino, like your cousin the ostrich, you’ve got your head buried in the sand. Join those of us who have seen the light and want real change. Matt Miklave = Reform. Bloviate on Matt. Bloviate on.

NorwalkDinosaur August 7, 2013 at 6:37 pm

@KSully, I have no issue with reforming the current NDTC. It desperately needs change. That has nothing to do with my point though.

I have an issue with people like @Matt Miklave and @Bruce Kimmel who have been involved with the DTC for years (and in @Matt Miklave’s case, is still involved), yet pretend that they are not part of the problem. Even cuter, they act as if they haven’t had their hands on the switch and they are going to swoop in and save the day.

Presumably, Mr. Miklave has had ample time to speak up, to organize for new membership, to act as a LEADER of the DTC. He is either unwilling or incapable. Either way, he has no business shouting from his ever-growing soap box about how he is an outsider/change candidate. It is disingenuous at best; more likely, misleading, political, and dishonest.

If his focus, which his press release implies is to “clean the DTC’s house”, than he should throw his hat in for chairman of that mess and leave running the city to someone else.

piberman August 7, 2013 at 10:07 pm

We ought to celebrate 4 Democratic candidates qualifying for a primary because that promises that the candidates will now discuss their platforms in some detail. Up to now we’ve had “platitutdes”. Lets hope some fruitful discussion will emerge behyond “moving Norwalk forward (to its future/past)”, “safety”, “supporting education”, “promoting development”. Maybe we’ll see one or more “position papers” as was used when then mayoral candidate Dan Malloy used in campaigning for mayor of Stamford. If ever Democrats had a real chance to run a real campaign based on articulate discussion of the City’s many needs and opportunities now is that chance. Presumably 4 heads are better than one. No matter how the primary turns out we’ll certainly have a chance to see if Democrat candidates can muster a serious discussion of our City’s needs and prospects.

Don't Panic August 8, 2013 at 12:56 am

All of the primary challengers are advocating change–Mr. Mangiacopra practically has the word change tattooed on his forehead. The question you have to ask is “change to what?” Seriously. What happens the day after the election is over? Mr. Miklave has repeatedly outlined proposals to fix what ails us. His proposals are specific and thoughtful and available to those who will take the time to read them. http://Www.Miklave.com

I’ll leave you with this parting thought, in 1783 the Montgolfier brothers used hot air to allow man to fly.

oldtimer August 8, 2013 at 1:07 am

Let’s hope they are all wise enough to campaign on how and why each would be a better mayor than Moccia and avoid attacking each other. There is nothing to be gained by Democrats helping the Moccia campaign by finding fault with each other.

Lifelong Teacher August 8, 2013 at 7:11 am

Amen to old timer above. Time for this party to pull together and stop Moccia in his tracks. The performance and money grab at this week’s BOE should be enough to wake everyone up.

NorwalkVoter August 8, 2013 at 3:02 pm

@Clayton
You are so right. He even uses 3 year old photos of himself from his last campaign and some are even older than that. Embarassing! Especially for the Democratic office holders who are frozen in place with this guy. No the Governor and the Congressman have not endorsed Andy.

NorwalkDinosaur August 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm

@Clayton, he has not said a word since he entered the race (I’m not sure that he suggested any policy ideas in 2011, either). I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you.

That said, maybe @Tim T can offer you and the rest of us some insight?

Mr. Garfunkel certainly hasn’t.

Tim T August 8, 2013 at 11:32 pm

NorwalkDinosaur
I have asked you and the other political operatives for the qualifications of young Vinny from Bridgeport to be mayor. Yet time and again you and the other political operatives for Bridgeport’s young Vinny have provided none.

I have also asked you and other political operatives what Bridgeport’s young Vinny has done for Norwalk as far as volunteer work etc. Yet once again you and the other political operatives fail to provide any. One would think that you and the other political operatives for Bridgeport’s young Vinny would jump at the chance. The answer for you and the other political operatives for Bridgeport’s young Vinny failure to answer this is simple young Vinny has ZERO qualifications and has done ZERO for Norwalk. Also I have noticed that you and the other political operatives for Bridgeport’s young Vinny lamely attempt to demean the other candidates in a lame attempt to make young Vinny look credible…

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