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.