Update 7:23 p.m. Aug. 29: Rilling campaign issues a response to the comment that Harry Rilling has no union endorsements.
NORWALK, Conn. – Democratic mayoral hopeful Vinny Mangiacopra has picked up his seventh and eighth labor endorsements, earning the support of the Operating Engineers Local 478 and Roofers and Waterproofers Local 12, according to a Wednesday press release from the campaign.
“I am pleased to inform you that Roofers & Waterproofers Local 12 has decided to endorse the Vinny Mangiacopra team for Norwalk’s Future,” Roofers 12 Local Business Manager Butch Davidson said in a letter to the campaign. “We wish you the best and hope the residents of Norwalk take the time to find out where you stand on important issues. I believe you have the best overall vision of what is best for Norwalk and its residents.”
“We have every confidence that as Mayor of Norwalk, Mr. Mangiacopra will take the necessary steps to create incentives and programs that will bring new business and industry to the city of Norwalk, while also developing neighborhoods anchored by affordable housing for working families and strong schools that will provide Norwalk’s children with the academic foundation that they will need to become solid citizens in our ever changing State,” International Union of Operating Engineers Local 478 Business Manager Craig Metz said, according to the release. “He has the support and commitment of the Operating Engineers throughout this mayoral election.”
“Our campaign is about building a coalition of people who have been turned off, disenfranchised or plain shut out of Norwalk politics — and that includes your average working family,” Mangiacopra said in the release. “If we don’t change the people in leadership positions in Norwalk, we can’t change the way it does business. I’m honored that we are gaining support from working class people who believe my candidacy represents a chance to be heard again.”
Both unions have pledged financial support and boots on the ground for get-out-the-vote drives. The Operating Engineers Local 478 is one of the largest unions in Connecticut, representing 3,047 workers.
Mangiacopra, thus far, has virtually cornered the market on union endorsements for the Sept. 10 Democratic primary election. Andy Garfunkel picked up the backing of Laborers’ Local 146 last spring. The Harry Rilling and Matt Miklave websites list no union endorsements.
Rilling campaign manager Kevin Coughlin issued a response Thursday:
“Having served as the President of the Norwalk Police Union President (Council 15-Local 1727) for 4 years and as an Executive Board member for 10 years, Harry is well respected within the Norwalk labor community. As they often do, the major Norwalk unions are remaining neutral in the upcoming primary. However, Harry will work hard for the support of Norwalk’s unions after the primary.”