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‘Rowayton Cowboy’ makes public appearance in pursuit of elected office

Updated, 1:30 p.m.: Merrell has filed papers to run in Norwalk. 

NORWALK, Conn. – Scott Merrell’s bid for the Republican Norwalk mayoral candidacy took a major hit Monday as Norwalk Republicans refused to consider him.

Merrell, known as the Rowayton Cowboy, tried to nominate himself but former State Rep. Larry Cafero (R-142), running the Republican Town Committee’s nominating convention, informed him that it wasn’t possible.

“This is why you guys never win,” Merrell said, wearing a baseball cap instead of a cowboy hat.

Merrell’s appearance at Monday’s meeting confirms the rumor that he is simultaneously attempting to run for Norwalk mayor and Connecticut governor, although he had not filed not in Norwalk.

Merrell’s filed papers to run for the Republican gubernatorial nomination on Dec. 1, according to the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC). On Tuesday, Norwalk Town Clerk Rick McQuaid wrote in an email, “He filed it with the State and just received it today…. they sent them to me today because he sent them to them. City elections get filed here, state at the state.”

Merrell also took a shot in the 2014 election, in 2010 and in 2006, something he mentioned as he briefly took combat Monday with Cafero.

“You stole my house from me to cover up a rigged election, the 2006 election for governor in the state of Connecticut,” Merrell said.

“I don’t even know who you are so I didn’t steal your house,” Cafero said to Merrell.

“No, the former mayor did,” Merrell replied.

Merrell’s long, colorful history in Norwalk includes a colorful arrest as he stood in the driveway of the Wilson Point home he owned before losing it in the 2008 tax sale.

“Merrell’s home was sold in a July 2008 tax sale by the city because Merrell, a veterinarian who performed surgery that enabled Alysheba to win the 1987 Kentucky Derby and Preakness, refused to pay about $100,000 in overdue property taxes,” John Nickerson wrote in a 2009 Stamford Advocate story. The home sold for $750,000, according to the story.

Tax Collector Lisa Biagiarelli retired Merrell’s $100,000 debt but Merrell refused to collect it as he appealed the tax sale, news reports state.

The appeal was dismissed in August 2011, the state judicial website states. Merrell filed a series of appeals on that, and was finally turned down by the State Supreme Court in May, 2013.

There’s been further some action on the case, as Merrell filed two statements in 2016 and a brief on Dec. 21, but the documents are not available online.

Biagiarelli told NancyOnNorwalk in July 2016 that she didn’t know if Merrell had collected the money. Late Monday night, Biagerialli said he had finally collected.

“The only mistake I ever made in my life was buying a home in my hometown of Rowayton and having to deal with the jealous and the envious,” Merrell said in 2010, going on to volunteer to be arrested, a moment captured by The Hour in a video.

“The state of Connecticut is a police state…. I want to be arrested as a protest,” Merrell said, going on to declare himself a political prisoner.

Cafero told Merrell on Monday that only RTC members were allowed to speak at the meeting.

Merrell said he had asked a RTC member to nominate him.

“I guess that didn’t happen,” Cafero said. “…You can’t nominate yourself.”

9 comments

Victor Cavallo July 25, 2017 at 2:38 am

Nancy: your claim that the RTC refused to consider him is very misleading because Cowboy had no legitimate status at the convention other than as a trespasser in an orderly procedure for nominations and endorsement. He’s not a registered Republican and even if he were he couldn’t nominate himself and thus there was no legitimate entreaty from him to refuse. He just burst out his usual vitriol to get attention to continue prosecuting his grievance against our tax collector after he stubbornly refused to pay his taxes and stupidly refused to redeem and satisfy the tax lien on his property. If I were to attend one of your Board meetings and yelled out that I should be chair without adhering to the orderly procedures for an election, much less not being a member of your board, would you consider it a refusal when I’d be denied my motion?

Lisa Wilson Grant July 25, 2017 at 6:48 am

Wilson Point is not part of Rowayton, I dont know why they always lump this guy and his lost house as being in Rowayton all the time. Its not.

Rem July 25, 2017 at 8:09 am

@Lisa Wilson Grant

Sorry to the bearer of bad news but Google Maps shows that Wilson Point is part of Rowayton.

V July 25, 2017 at 8:45 am

@Lisa Wilson Grant does that mean that he’s also not allowed to participate in Rowayton events and etc etc? We were told to leave your dog park because we didn’t Him too?

Donna July 25, 2017 at 9:21 am

@Nancy, video is a great addition to this story. And while I appreciate Larry Cafero’s sobriety when dealing with the Rowayton Cowboy, I wish Larry had said this:

Hey, look, mister, we serve hard drinks for men who want to get drunk fast and we don’t need any characters around to give the joint atmosphere. Is that clear or do I have to slip you my left for a convincer?

Rick July 25, 2017 at 1:26 pm

come on folks ,to even suggest reporting was off by a mark is funny.Your Democrats have a room full of Merrills lets keep the our eye on the ball.

Maybe the Democrats
sent him ,its shows the republicans have faith in the process and is not taking the low road.

Rowyaton just got a liquor store wholesale outlet feet from the line point or not where everyone on this?

Yes it will bring the very best in buyers feet from the line ,

Not sure if they got the license yet but where is the public on this one?

Contamination spews from a river into Rowyaton where is the outcry on this

Ambulances from out of town as far as New Cannon go and pick up emergencies in Rowyaton any idea how much this happens when our own ambulances are picking up in South Norwalk off the streets?

Get real folks Scott is not an issue your your comments are

odd how one man can grab the headlines and what goes on that needs attention falls by the wayside with taxpayers

Your Democrats have been busy the shell game they play is fine tuned when is everyone going to address the issues?

Mr Conroy is good man who has been targeted by city hall,its time to back someone who cares and knows how to resolve issues and not create them.

Can we get back to the facts Scott has given us the humor now lets get back to whats on the table.

Danny July 25, 2017 at 3:33 pm

Never take anyone seriously who wears a red jacket, while sporting a ball cap with a horrendous ponytail. Trust me, i’m gay. Listen to me.

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NancyOnNorwwalk.com was conceived as the place to go for Norwalk residents to get the real, unvarnished story about what is going on in and around their city. NancyOnNorwalk does not intend to be a print newspaper online; rather, it exists to pull the curtain back and shine a spotlight on how Norwalk is run and what is happening regarding issues that have an impact on taxpayers’ pocketbooks and safety. As an independent site, NancyOnNorwalk’s first and only allegiance is to the reader.

About Nancy

Nancy came to Norwalk in September 2010 and, after reporting on Norwalk for two years for another company, resigned to begin Nancy On Norwalk so she engage in journalism the way it was meant to be done. She is married to career journalist Mark Chapman, has a son, Eric (the artist and web designer who built this website), and two cats – a middle-aged lady and a young hottie who are learning how to peacefully co-exist.