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.”