Opinion: Nope, no mayoral primary Tuesday

The election is Nov. 7.

Don’t believe everything you read – no, we are not having a mayoral primary Tuesday.

We are having a primary. It’s in District A only, as three Democrats seek two endorsements for Common Council candidacies. The Democrats who were endorsed by the Democratic Town Committee, Chris Yerinides and incumbent Council member Eloisa Melendez, are being challenged by Kadeem Roberts. If you are unaffiliated and you want to get in on that, you have until noon Monday to switch your voter registration.

So Friday, I got this wonderfully well-intentioned press release:


HARTFORD – Secretary of the State Denise Merrill reminded voters today that those eligible to vote and who wish to register to vote in time for the primaries have until 12:00 p.m. on Monday September 11th to register in person at their local Registrar of Voters office. Unaffiliated voters also have until 12:00 p.m. on Monday to enroll in a major party if they want to vote in that primary in their city or town.

Secretary Merrill said, “If your town is having a primary this Tuesday, make sure your voice is heard! If you think you are already registered to vote, or just aren’t sure, please go to myvote.ct.gov/lookup to make sure your registration is up to date.”

Polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. for municipal primaries in 31 communities on Tuesday September 12th. Voters can check their registration status and find their polling place at http://myvote.ct.gov/lookup.



A screengrab from a mistaken list of primaries being held Tuesday in Connecticut.

Then there was this perfectly wonderful chart, showing where there are primaries – and in Norwalk, we are listed as having a mayoral primary.


That’s allegedly according to information submitted to the Secretary of State’s office by Sept. 7.

The press release didn’t come from an official source – if you subscribe to the Google Group CT News Wire you got it. I called the person listed as having sent the press release to ask is he is involved with the Secretary of State’s office but he didn’t call back.

I didn’t know that we were having a mayoral primary, so I sent a tongue-in-cheek email to Democratic Registrar Stuart Wells, who, dammit, played it straight with, “No. All we are having is a Democratic primary for District A Common Council.”

So, I wanted to have a little fun with it but, really, all I succeeded in doing is reminding anyone who read this far that there is an opportunity to vote Tuesday!


Stuart Wells September 10, 2017 at 9:16 am

District A Democrats vote primarily at Tracey School, St. Mary Hall, and Kendall school. In addition, a relatively small number of District A Democrats, primarily from the Bettswood area, vote at Nathan Hale. The polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Schools will be open too, so voters might want to pay attention to the school bus schedules and student drop off and pick up times.
Voter turn out is usually light — 2 years ago only about 10% of the democrats voted in a similar primary. This primarily means that everyone who does vote has a greater than usual affect on the outcome.
This post is primarily to encourage everyone to vote, and only secondarily to have fun using “primarily” annoyingly often.

Donna King September 10, 2017 at 9:26 am

Neither of the two challenging Democrats had the backing or the signatures to force a mayoral primary in Norwalk.

Debora Goldstein September 10, 2017 at 1:28 pm

Who was the other Democrat you are referring to, Donna? There is only one other Democrat currently on the ballot. Even Mr. Merrill wasnt a D, as far as I know.

Donna Smirniotopoulos September 10, 2017 at 4:56 pm

@Donna King, your claim that Lisa Brinton Thompson failed to collect enough signatures to force a democratic primary is incorrect. Whereas Bruce Morris did try to collect signatures to force a primary against Rilling, Brinton Thompson has been unaffiliated from the start of her bid. I’m sorry Morris didn’t get the signatures he needed to force Rilling into a primary. The depth of field of mayoral candidates is good for Norwalk. And the advantage in this race will go to the candidate who does the best job getting voters to show up at the polls. Last time 70% of registered voters let the other 30% decide for them. There is too much at stake for voters to be complacement about their leadership.

Debora Goldstein September 10, 2017 at 5:02 pm

Lisa Brinton is a dyed in the wool unaffiliated voter. You, as a senior party official, and former NDTC Chair, and former state central rep, know better.

As the reports about the petition signatures attest, her support is equally divided among Dems, Reps and unaffiliateds. Perhaps we should focus on the issues instead of trying to paint the only non-politician in the race as something she is not.

Isabelle Hargrove September 10, 2017 at 6:54 pm

I agree with Debora Goldstein. This exchange is very unfortunate on the part of a trusted advisor to the Rilling campaign trying to sound factual while deceiving voters. I guess we all now know that Lisa Brinton is perceived as a threat to his re-election!

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