Norwalk mayoral candidates report fundraising totals

The 2017 Norwalk mayoral candidate lineup: From left, Mayor Harry Rilling, Republican Andy Conroy, Lisa Brinton Thomson and State Rep. Bruce Morris.

The election is Nov. 7.

Correction, Oct. 12: Although the Rilling campaign form listed a David Obuchowski as a contributor, NancyOnNorwalk is confident that it was Daniel Obuchowski. 

NORWALK, Conn. — Nearly $190,000 has been raised by Norwalk mayoral candidates in this election cycle, with more than 76 percent of it raised by the incumbent.

As of Oct. 1, Mayor Harry Rilling’s reelection campaign had raised more than $144,055; State Rep. Bruce Morris (D-140) had raised nearly $22,000, unaffiliated candidate Lisa Brinton Thomson had raised $15,866.15 and Republican candidate Andy Conroy has raised $6,682.95.  All of the challengers’ totals reflect money from their own funds.

Tuesday was the deadline for candidates to submit the paperwork documenting their fundraising efforts for the third quarter. Documents show that Brinton Thomson has contributed $2,600 to her campaign, and Conroy had contributed $3,500 to his campaign. Morris has loaned Morris if for Us $6,000.

Rilling’s $26,515 in contributions from individuals this quarter includes $6,000 from people connected to AMEC Carting or AMEC Construction.


Comments from candidates

“Our main focus from this point is getting our message to the public and running a positive campaign based on issues important to our community,” Rilling said in a text message.

Morris did not respond to an email; on Sunday, he said that Rilling may have $150,000 but he was looking for 150 volunteers, each of which would be worth more than $1,000.

Brinton Thomson sent a press release announcing that she was “proud of support from individuals, not special interests.” The $15,000 was raised in roughly seven weeks, the release said.

“I’m delighted with these results for a number of reasons,” the candidate is quoted as saying. “First, our goal was to raise only what was needed to finance our voter outreach for this campaign. We intend to apply the same efficiency to our electoral efforts as I have been advocating for in City Hall.  With the help of our many grassroots supporters, we can accomplish all the goals we’ve laid out to promote plans for a better Norwalk.”

She continued, “We are proud that this money came from many individual contributors, many of whom are participating in electoral politics for the first time, and not from corporate entities or special interest groups. I want to be free to work for the people of Norwalk to make it a better place to live and conduct business, and not owe outside groups.”

Conroy said late Tuesday that he has about $2,000 more in his coffers than the filing shows, and has pledged another $2,000 of his own money. He is going to seek more donations and if he gets $15,000 he’ll be in good shape, he said, as mailers are much less expensive than they used to be and mailers are the most important way to reach all Norwalk citizens.

His campaign director, Rick Joslyn, in an email said, “At this point in the race, fundraising is much less of a concern than getting out and meeting voters across Norwalk.  Andy is spending the money he has raised as efficiently as possible.”

He continued, “I think Norwalk voters will find this approach refreshing, as Mayor Rilling has collected his $100k largely from developers who want to make deals with the city.  We’re not commenting on whether that’s good or bad, but it’s a fact Norwalk voters should know and consider when deciding which candidate will put Norwalk interests first.”


Friends of Rilling

  • Balance on hand at beginning of period, $82,767.55
  • Contributions from individuals this quarter $26,515.00
  • Contributions from individuals entire campaign $117,505
  • Expenses paid by committee $65,526.85 ($98,649 total)
  • Balance on hand at close of reporting period $45,405.70


$1,000 donors

  • Michelle Marmarinos of New Canaan,  AMEC Carting VP
  • Kiki Marmarinos of New Canaan, a retiree
  • David Stein, AMEC executive
  • Guy Mazzola, AMEC executive
  • Angelo Mazzola of Stamford AMEC
  • Tiffany Killian of New Canaan, AMEC executive assistant
  • Victor Noletti of Roxbury, a real estate professional with Institutional Property Advisors/Self
  • Domenico Chiapppetta, DML Electrical Services LLC
  • Benito Dinino of Stamford, a retiree
  • Damien Donaghy of Eastchester, NY, Promac Northeast
  • Sasa Mahr-Bautz of Weston, owner of Sasa Mahr-Bautz LLC
  • Christopher Kelly of New Canaan, Sound Construction Services
  • Nicholas Rodriguez of Bridgeport, FD Rich Co. property manager
  • Donald Gustafson of Westport, an attorney with Shipman and Goodwin
  • Carol Mataya-Ross, an artist
  • Timothy Rath, a retiree


$500 donors

  • Thomas Gelormino of Torrington, president of Vet’s Explosives
  • Mary Discala, retiree
  • Robert Slapin
  • John Dambrusco of Oxford, Dambrusco Blasting
  • Brenda Plaza of Milford, Yumbla Trucking
  • Stephen Domizio of Fairfield, Connecticut Precast Corporation
  • Jevera Hennessey of Stamford, an attorney
  • Thomas Rich of Stamford, FD Rich Co. ($1,000 total donation)
  • Goitom Bellete of Stamford, B Parking
  • Former Mayor Bill Collins ($600 total)
  • Ed Camacho ($600 total)


$300 donor

  • Susan Beyman

$250 donors

  • Mike McGuire
  • Craig Meeker of Farmington
  • James Case of Roslyn Heights, N.Y.
  • Patrick Romano of Guilford
  • Gregory Gerratana of Farmington
  • Thomas Flaherty
  • Bashkim Osmani of Pleasantville, N.Y.



$200 donors

  • Nancy Meany
  • Roderick Johnson
  • Donna Cole


$150 donor

  • Tobias Arianna


$125 donor

  • Mustafa Noor


$110 donors

  • Robert Skaleski


$100 donors

  • Marilyn Robinson
  • Eileen Kleban of Wilton
  • John Veral
  • Sylvia Shulman
  • Troy Jellerette
  • Melissa Petroploulis
  • Georgana Rucker
  • Michael Parenteau
  • Brian Davis, Maritime Aquarium
  • James DelGreco
  • Malcolm Gordon
  • Lois Flynn
  • Charlie Taney ($400 total)
  • Thomas Livingston


Donors of less than $100

  • Marjorie Katz, $75
  • Dorothy Mobilia, $70
  • Eric Fishman, $50 ($100 total)
  • Daniel Obuchowski, $50 ($100 total)
  • Elsa Peterson Obuchowski, $50 ($75 total)


(In-kind donations)

  • Mark Seaman $1,000
  • Mariella Castagnet $1,000

The campaign paid DNA Campaigns $45,490 during the period for expenses labeled “consulting,” and $6,240 for canvassing.




Morris is for Us

  • Balance on hand at beginning of period $5,740
  • contributions from individuals $10,258
  • Other monetary receipts $6,000 (a loan from Morris)
  • Subtotals $21,998.01
  • Expenses paid by committee $11,510.03
  • Balance on hand at close of reporting period $10,487.97


$1,000 donors

  • Tua Zhang, Asian Coalition, self-employed
  • Jonathon Allen of Glastonbury
  • Gary Mosley of Vernon
  • Darnell Goldson of New Haven, Director of Governmental Affairs, Ticket Network
  • Don Vaccaro of South Glastonbury, Chief Operating Office, Ticket Network


$250 donors

  • Bruce Morris, New Haven
  • Cheryl Morris, New Haven

Less than $100 donors

  • Sara Connolly, $50
  • Steve Ladestro, $50
  • Dominic Cotton of Milford, $40
  • Jimmy Liu of Flushing N.Y., $40
  • Joshua Elliot of Hamden, $40
  • Gaihua Zhu, $20


Lisa for Norwalk

  • Balance on hand at beginning of period $0
  • Contributions from individuals $13,168
  • Other monetary receipts $2,600 (contribution from candidate)
  • total monetary receipts $15,866.15
  • expenses paid by committee $3,798.30
  • balance on hand at close of reporting period $12,067.85
  • campaign expenses paid by candidate $4,403.99
  • expenses incurred by committee during this period not paid $1,025


$1,000 donors

  • David Davidson
  • Nancy Brinton
  • Carolyn Chiodo


$500 donors

  • David McCarthy (plus $20.34 in-kind donation)
  • Rosaria Konstantin
  • Sue Haynie
  • Pamela Works
  • Jody Sattler
  • William Nightingale
  • Charlotte Burton


$250 donors

  • Lauren Rosato
  • Natasha Lopoukhine
  • Margaret Epprecht
  • Patrick Cooper
  • Christine Smith
  • Jody Neaderland


$200 donors

  • Amy O’Brien
  • Andrea Ruskin
  • Kathryn Kostohryz


$150 donors

  • Deb Goldstein ($263.08 total)
  • Tamsen Langalis
  • Tony D’Andrea
  • Amy Strickland


$125 donor

  • Sarah Waters


$100 donors

  • Heather Dunn
  • Richard Weiss
  • Charles Schoendorf
  • Julie Burton
  • Cathleen Chawla of New York City
  • Sylvia Doyle
  • Ann Sullivan of Centennial, Colo.
  • Teri Vineyard
  • Alexander Diamandis
  • Luisa D’Allacco
  • Susan Lue
  • Michael Hanafee
  • Amanda Kelly
  • Gerri Lloyd
  • Darunee Wilson
  • Matthew Surapine
  • Andrea Light
  • Elizabeth Laibe
  • Karin Van Sloten
  • Maria DesRochers
  • Julie Griffiths
  • Molly Sargent
  • Lara Walsh
  • Nancy McGuire


(Lisa for Norwalk Exploratory Committee, $98.15)



Conroy for Mayor

  • Balance on hand at beginning $478.05
  • Contributions from individuals $2,661
  • Other monetary receipts $3,543.90 (Conroy’s personal funds $3,500)
  • Total monetary receipts $6,204.90
  • Subtotals $6,682.95
  • Expenses paid by committee $3,370.12
  • Balance on hand at close of reporting period $3,312.83


$500 donor

  • Miklos Koleszar


$250 donor

  • State Rep. Terri Wood of Darien


$200 donor

  • Elizabeth Smith of Darien


$100 donors

  • Bert Von Stuelpnagel of Darien
  • Marc D’Amelio
  • Liz Lyons
  • Karen Lyons
  • Pete Torrano
  • Brent Haynes Darien
  • Belinda Metzger Darien
  • Richard Tavella, Ruminden Court


Less than $100

  • Kelly Straniti, $90
  • John Romano $80
  • Martin Tagliaferro $70
  • Pat Luongo $50
  • Laurie Williamson of Darien $50
  • Marilyn Knox $40
  • Rich Bonenfant $40
  • Terry Quell $40
  • Peter Halladay, $40
  • State Rep. Fred Wilms $40
  • John Tobin $40
  • David McCarthy $1


Donna Smirniotopoulos October 11, 2017 at 9:17 am

Thanks, Nancy, for reporting this. No surprises. Harry Rilling is “owned” by the AMEC Carting Cartel this quarter, and most of those $1000 donors don’t even live in Norwalk. In 2016 AMEC was denied a special permit to expand their South Norwalk operations. The Rilling donor list reads like a “Who’s Who” of the Big Bosses in carting, waste and construction.

Seaworthy October 11, 2017 at 11:40 am

So what you’re saying is, that AMEC donated money to the Mayor. And despite that, he still denied them permits. Kind of the opposite of someone ‘owning’ someone. This is why I support and donated to Mayor Rilling, he always does what is best for this city and stands up for what is right

Donald October 11, 2017 at 12:03 pm

You State
“he always does what is best for this city and stands up for what is right”
You do realize this is about Mayor Harry Rilling??????

Donna Smirniotopoulos October 11, 2017 at 2:35 pm

@Seaworthy, you just stated that Mayor Rilling denied AMEC a permit. I’m pretty sure it was the Zoning Commission who denied the permit. Were you trying to say that the Mayor owns the commissions through appointments, or that the commissions do the biding of the mayor rather than deciding an application based on its merits? Wish I knew who you were because I’d be happy to quote you on that.

Large contributions from commercial interests have a corresive influence on politics and government, especially when the person getting the money controls land use decisions, which is what Seaworthy just implied above.

Seaworthy October 11, 2017 at 3:28 pm

@donna, if I mis-spoke I apologize. But my intentions were to point out that AMEC donating to the Mayor had zero influence on land decisions made regarding them.

Donna Smirniotopoulos October 11, 2017 at 7:21 pm

@Seaworthy, donating to the mayor’s campaign should have zero influence on land use decisions. I’m glad we’re in agreement. Under Bloomberg, Dan Doctoroff was able to rezone 40% of the city to create the Highline and turn old industrial zones into residential ones. Doctoroff has said this would not have been possible had Bloomberg accepted donations from special interests, especially developers.

AMEC still has an interest in expanding in South Norwalk. I wouldn’t be surprised if they came back to the Zoning Commission with a new proposal. BJs got turned down in 2013. So the big box application was reinvented as “The Village”. That passed. Long Island developers of the Village gave to Rilling’s campaign. The only way for campaigns to distance themselves from the appearance of influence peddling is to refuse donations from businesses and developers with a stake in land use decisions and city contracts.

Martha A Wooten Dumas October 14, 2017 at 1:40 pm

It doesn’t matter which way you look at it. AMEC still has the property, and other contractor yards popping up around South Norwalk residents. I do not understand why so much funds has to be raised. Get out walk and talk. So is it the more money raise you win or the more trust and all the community concerns is what helps you win for all peoples and cultural.Large contributions from commercial interests have a influence on politics and government, as we see right now in South Norwalk

Isabelle Hargrove October 14, 2017 at 2:37 pm

Wow, $150K and we still have 6 weeks to go at the date of the filing. Mayor Rilling is well on track to raise at least $175K. To put things into perspective, Norwalk is only spending $195K on Santec to develop our new Plan of Conservation and Development, which will be the roadmap for the future of our town. I guess our town is not as well funded as our mayor’s campaign.

I am also concerned that a large percentage of that money comes from outside of Norwalk, even CT, and so much of it comes from corporate special interests that have been in direct conflict with some of our neighborhoods.

And where does all this money go? $45,000 for consulting services to DNA Campaigns. Googling that outfit, they don’t even have a website operating at the present time and The Hour reported in 2013 that the Rilling campaign cut ties with them after their president’s arrest. I guess things have changed since then. So much for transparency either way.

Bottom line is, this is too much money from special interests that will be used to beat Norwalkers over the head so they come out and vote for “their” guy.

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