NORWALK, Conn. – An East Norwalk political veteran has stepped up to fill a vacant slot on this fall’s Democratic ballot. Kevin Poruban will run as John Kydes’ running mate, vying against two incumbent Republicans to represent District C on the Common Council.
Poruban, a former councilman, said Democratic mayoral candidate Harry Rilling recruited him for the ticket last week. John Hauter had been endorsed by the Democratic Town Committee to run but pulled out.
Kydes and Poruban are taking on incumbent Republicans Michelle Maggio and current at-large councilwoman Sarah Mann, who was appointed to serve out Joanne Roman’s term when Romano resigned. That will involve a lot of door knocking, Poruban said.
Poruban, who ran unsuccessfully for the Board of Education in 2011, said his campaign is just getting started, but he has some ideas.
“I’d like to see Norwalk move in a more positive direction,” he said. “It’s been sort of languishing. It’s time to not have the same stalemate we have in Washington on the local level.”
Poruban was on the council when Alex Knopp was mayor, from 2001 to 2005. He lost the election in 2005 but was put back on the council six months later when a council member decided to move south.
Poruban said he remembers shifting gears after Sept. 11, 2001, as the council focused on increasing public safety and forming emergency plans. He also said the council worked to fix a lot of ordinances and repair the deteriorated public schools.
“They were all in bad shape,” he said.
Poruban used his time away from the council to earn money to put his two sons thought college. His oldest son is in the military and is going to Afghanistan in several months. His youngest is a sophomore at the University of Connecticut, studying theatrical lighting.
Poruban is a third-generation East Norwalker.
“I came home from the hospital (as a baby) to the house I am in,” he said.
He is focused on education, and would like to make sure as a councilman that the BOE gets the funding it needs.
He thinks the schools need to return to teaching kids practical life skills they can use.
“When we were on the council, we got rid of a lot of the shop classes,” he said. “I think we kind of need to redirect that focus, put these things back in.”