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Morris files to run for mayor

State Rep. Bruce Morris (D-140) speaks to Norwalk Democrats on Monday in the South Norwalk Community Center.

NORWALK, Conn. — It’s official: Bruce Morris is challenging Mayor Harry Rilling for the Democratic Party nomination this summer.

Morris, state representative for District 140 and leader of District B Democrats, filed papers to run for mayor Monday, he confirmed to NancyOnNorwalk at Monday night’s Democratic Town Committee meeting.

Other than that, he declined comment. Nothing was said about it during the meeting.

“I’ll have comments in two weeks,” Morris said to NoN, promising a formal campaign announcement with the unveiling of a detailed platform.

“It’s no surprise,” Rilling said. “I’ve known for quite some time that he was thinking about it. That’s the great thing about this country – people who decide to want to run for office get to run. I look forward to an issue-based campaign, sticking to the issues and determining what our vision is. Everyplace I go in Norwalk, people say they’re very happy that Norwalk is moving forward. We’re very proud of what we have done and we are very proud of what we plan to do. So, I am very confident that the people will see what’s going on in Norwalk and put their confidence in us, and their support.”

Rilling has already raised more than $100,000 in his drive to win a third term.

Morris is just beginning.

Norwalk Republicans have been unsuccessfully searching for a challenger to Rilling, sources say. Vinny Mangiacopra, who came in second in a four-way mayoral primary in 2013, recently switched his party affiliation from Democrat to unaffiliated, and is interested in challenging Rilling, sources say.

Morris is in his sixth term in the Connecticut General Assembly. His bio on the House Dems website states:

“During his second term in the legislature, he was named Assistant Majority Whip and served in that capacity until his promotion to Deputy Majority Whip in April 2012. He served in that position until January 2013 when he was named Deputy Majority Whip at Large. He served in that capacity until he was named Deputy Speaker in January 2015 and continues in this leadership position.

“Rep. Morris is a member of the legislature’s Judiciary, Finance and Human Services and Legislative Management Committees.

“Rep. Morris has devoted his life to the service of others, a value he learned from his mother and father, who was a state representative and state senator before becoming the State Commissioner of Public Works under Governor Weicker.

“In addition to his legislative duties, Rep. Morris serves as an Associate Pastor at Macedonia Church in Norwalk and former Human Relations Officer for the Norwalk School System. He is also a former elected executive board member of the National Caucus of Black State Legislators.”

 

Morris was born and raised in New Haven. His father was one of the first African-Americans to be a Connecticut state representative, he said in a 2014 interview, and rose to be deputy speaker before deciding to place a priority on earning a living to support his family. Eventually, his father was convinced to run for state senator.

Morris first came to Norwalk in 1979 to help found Macedonia Church, he said. He was reverse commuting for a while, and bought a home here in 1989.

14 comments

THE TRUTH April 25, 2017 at 7:55 am

Good old Harry states
Every place I go in Norwalk, people say they’re very happy that Norwalk is moving forward.

Good old Harry and his fantasy world.
Harry I have news for you. I have yet to hear anyone in the real world praise your time as Mayor. Actually most I speak with feel that you are destroying Norwalk in much the same way you did the Norwalk police department.

Andrew April 25, 2017 at 12:57 pm

Nothing wrong with a good old primary contest to flesh out the direction a party is going in. This is going to be interesting to see where the two candidates differ on the issues of the day facing the city.

Nostrodumbas April 25, 2017 at 3:53 pm

oh jeez… I thought this was an article in The Onion.

Just what Norwalk doesn’t need… someone with a personal vendetta against the Board Of Education.

If you think your property values are bad now just wait until he is given the chance to gut and obstruct the BOE.

In my opinion… He’s more interested in the six-figure salary then trying to help Norwalk.

If the Republicans in town really want a chance, they’d try to back Morris in a primary all day. There is no way that outside of District B he will win. This is just a big middle finger to Harry for not supporting him and his lame “fix it first” plan.

Is Vinny Mangiacopra really the Republican Parties Knight in Shining Armor?

If so, they really need to look at the leadership of Andy Conroy…. or should I saw “lack of”

Patrick Cooper April 25, 2017 at 6:41 pm

@Nostradumbass – pretty spot on for a dead seer – must be the French elections that kicked you out of your slumber. Apparently, the rumors were well founded, and yes, the Bruce for Mayor campaign brings positives and negatives. The positive?

Mayor Rilling will be pressed to answer Dis-B-Dems on why all the flip flops? On the Fix it First fiasco, and stealing the yard where Tremendous and Co throw their Midnight Summer’s BBQ. On “I’m against the Mall/ I’m all for the Mall” – a grand idea in 1978 but not so much today. On “we don’t need no stinking BJ’s/ I must recuse myself from any development shenanigans because my entire campaign cash is tied to FU-Norwalk developers. On “I’m here for the taxpayers” / to reality “total capitulation to every public union”.

Bruce on the other hand will be hard pressed to detail his accomplishments. The positive is that could be the shortest political speech ever delivered.

Republicans have been given a gift that deserves acknowledgement. They should send Bruce a set of truck-nuts for his Buick. If Bruce wins, they could put up a three-eyed mute and the taxpayers would vote 80/20 to make em mayor.

On a smaller but still ancillary benefit, the local JC Penny apparently is stocking up on new suits and ties – the Herman Cain Collection – anticipating a stylist with campaign contributions will push for a whole new shiny rep. tie appearance.

The negative?

The real possibility that the narrative could be a sprint to the bottom of the sewer, with race baiting tactics and fear mongering used carelessly. To the investor community, the more Norwalk (or No-Work) looks like a future Bridgeport, the more likely capital will flow – elsewhere.

That possibility that Bruce does win. That he exacts his revenge. That Mike Lyons says enough, and the new BOE/ Grace Baptist elects a pro-union hack chairman. The Superintendent says enough, and the Mosby’s convert every school into vocational – international baccalaureate janitorial studies programs. Lynne Moore chairs the compensation and ethics committee’s. Teachers and administrators are awarded waterfront properties upon completion of their 2nd year. Cranbury Park is sold to Bob Duff for a dollar.

Sensing the inevitable, Lisa Thompson joins forces with Bruce Beinfield and successfully petitions to have Rowayton secede from Norwalk to become the 51st state. They use funds provided by the Trump administration to build a wall along the metro north tracks.

So yea, call me excited. What a week of news for us Norwalk taxpayers. The NFT says fire 75, we say yes to an incredibly stupid big box development, we show we can’t negotiate a happy meal with GGP – and we have the single most ridiculous public serpent in the state say he should be our leader.

Nancy, I fully understand how reporting this stuff could get you so sick. Get better!

Mitch Adis April 25, 2017 at 9:34 pm

Does Bruce realize he needs to show up for this job? Harry is jumping for joy knowing this is his competition.

Donald April 25, 2017 at 11:39 pm

This will be Rilling’s last term considering Morris will be pulling from the same base that got Rilling elected. BYE BYE Harry…… Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Wineshine April 26, 2017 at 8:50 am

Well, that’s it. I’ve made a critical decision, and will be throwing my hat in the ring in the upcoming mayoral election. Adding a little plot twist to the mystery of politics, I’ll be running anonymously, under the pseudonym, Wineshine.

Oh, and I’ll simultaneously be running as well for the State Senate, and a seat in Washington representing the 4th Congressional District.

My platform? I’ll do absolutely nothing to help you, but I’ll do nothing to hurt you either. In fact, rest assured, I’ll do absolutely nothing. We will all be one with the cosmos.

I can use the three paychecks and benefits, and let’s face it you all can use a break from empty promises, flip-flopping and the element of suspense over what self-serving, bone-headed, whack-a-mole action by your elected officials will next cost you more tax money, reduce the value of your homes, and cost you travel time waiting for the traffic in the schlepper cart lane to abate. (For those who missed it, I just displayed by big-city experience by mentioning a “schlepper”. If you know what one of those is, I’m your guy)

Well, that’s it. I’ll keep it simple. I won’t pollute your halcyon landscape with lawn signs, or bother you on Saturday mornings by knocking on your door for a Shake and Howdy. You may however get a robo call from me, but it will be only to say, “I’m not Wineshine and I do not approve this message” Vote for me!

East Norwalk April 26, 2017 at 10:01 am

The man has no chance in hell of winning. But at least Harry will have some entertainment along the way to victory.

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