D’Amelio set to take on Duff

Marc D’Amelio participates in a Norwalk Board of Education candidates’ debate last fall in City Hall.

NORWALK, Conn. — A Norwalk Republican has stepped up to challenge State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25).

Marc D’Amelio, who ran unsuccessfully for the Board of Education last fall, on Tuesday filed papers with the Secretary of State to run for State Senate in the 25th district, which includes all of Norwalk and part of Darien.

“As someone who grew up in Norwalk and is now raising a family here, I am concerned about the downward spiral of Connecticut under the leadership of Bob Duff and Governor Malloy,” D’Amelio said in an email. “I believe Norwalk, Darien, and Connecticut deserve new and innovative leadership to guide us back to prosperity, which is why I am interested in the 25th Senate district. I will be making a formal announcement regarding my plans in the weeks to come.”

Duff’s papers for reelection were filed on Jan. 16.

“Democracy is best served when there’s a spirited debate on the issues. I look forward to running a positive campaign and listening to the voters,” Duff said in an email.

Duff is a prominent figure in Connecticut politics, at a time when the state is facing enormous fiscal challenges. As Majority Leader, he was involved in talks to pass a bipartisan budget in September, well after the June 30 deadline.

D’Amelio has never held elected office. His candidacy for the Board of Education fell short in a near-Democratic sweep of municipal offices last fall, with D’Amelio getting more votes than any other Republican BoE candidate.

D’Amelio is an apparel industry entrepreneur and resident of Norwalk for more than 40 years, he said in a press release last fall.  He and his wife, Heidi, have two school-age daughters, Dixie and Charli. He holds a BA in Political Science from UConn Storrs.

D’Amelio has volunteered for the NHS Parents Club and PTO, and served as the president of both organizations for 2016-17, the release said.  He also serves on the Norwalk High School Governance Council and its budget committee.

“In 2000 Marc founded Madsoul Clothing Company and he became a partner in Leroy Jenkins Limited in 2006,” his LinkedIn page states. He started the Level 4 Collective Showroom in 2006.

The Level 4 Collective is “located in the heart of NY City’s garment district at 38 W 39th Street,” the showroom’s website states.

“Through Level 4, Marc spearheaded the turnaround of Mitchell & Ness, a division of Adidas, increasing its annual sales fivefold.  Marc earned the commendation of ‘Top 30 Most Memorable Marketing Campaigns of All Time’ by Inc. Magazine,” last fall’s press release said.

“Every dollar that I spend in my business is important,” D’Amelio said last fall. “…People say Republicans are about being fiscally conservative. I am not fiscally conservative, I am fiscally efficient.”

“The Norwalk Republican Town Committee official candidate endorsements must await until the May 14th convention,” RTC Chairman Victor Cavallo said in an email. “But Marc D’Ameglio exemplifies how Norwalk Republicans are energized and focused on electing candidates who are committed to lifting Connecticut out of the financial abyss that Senator Bob Duff and his affiliates have thrown us into; for so many years raiding the state treasury and our pockets to buy votes from state employee unions to ensure re-election; and for so many years that Bob Duff has short-changed Norwalk, his home town, out of education money in preference for Hartford and Bridgeport. We’re confident that Norwalk voters, this year, will rise up and succeed to suppress Bob Duff’s ongoing campaign to undermine Norwalk’s best interests. Done!”


NotAffiliated February 1, 2018 at 6:20 am

I’ve often wish for the concept of no party affiliation on a local level and yes, this state senate seat should qualify.

Most of the folks I know will pull a “D” lever no matter what. Heck, Democrat Dog Wardens capture 79% of the vote.

V February 1, 2018 at 8:34 am

It’s refreshing to see that the Republican Party is finally running a relatable candidate against an overstayed incumbent. Wishing you luck Marc! You’ll get my money and vote.

John C. Romano February 1, 2018 at 10:49 am

Marc, so happy that you will be running help break our chains from ineffective Government. Bob Duff who is joined at the hip with Gov. Malloy has not served Norwalk well. Besides his weather reports and traffic reports and photo opts he is no where to be seen on the issues. Norwalk has been constantly short changed on schools and otherwise. His answer to all this foolishness is to raise more taxes, put in tolls, more give a ways to the unions to get votes. All the while the elderly, the young, the profitable companies, the average citizen is exiting from our once fine STATE.

John C. Romano February 1, 2018 at 10:56 am

We need a change, we need you Marc to be a part of that change. Malloy Duff and their cronies have held us hostage for to long. Shortchanged we are, yet BOB takes credit for the crumbs we do get, even though we would have gotten these crumbs without him. They were due us. The house and Senate of Ct has been subject to the self serving D’S for to long, it is time for a change and that time is now. You have my complete confidence and support. Then in Nov with a new regime in place we can start down the road of building confidence back in Ct. as a great place to live and Norwalk the shinning example of what a great town can be.

carol February 1, 2018 at 11:13 am

so happy to see a candidate willing to take on photo op duff.
Marc,you have my vote and any help I can give.

Mike Mushak February 1, 2018 at 12:51 pm

Question: Does he support Trump and his policies that are racist, anti-women, anti-environmental protection, anti-consumer protection, anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigrant, anti- public education, anti-FBI, anti-trade, anti-climate change, anti-blue state, etc?

If the answer is ambiguous to any of the above, he won’t stand a chance in CT where highly-educated voters on both sides of the aisle (yes, smart conservatives still exist!) are fed up with the corrupt GOP antics in DC led by an authoritarian self-serving Russian puppet, who has done nothing since being elected to protect our country against another foreign attack on our elections, except obstruct justice and attack our democratic institutions from within.

As far as I can tell, both the Norwalk and CT GOP have been silent (and therefore acquiescent) on Trump and his policies, including his average 30% tax hike on CT residents as he raised the deficit $1.5 trillion.

This silence on Trump and his policies does not bode well for the GOP in the upcoming blue landslide.

US Blues February 1, 2018 at 1:56 pm

I guess by the silence from the democraps on Malloys fiasco running our state into the ground is any better?

The highly educated GOPS in CT are trying to focus on how to not let the state go down the drain as Malloy is fixing to stick it to us one last time… this time, Malloy is shoving a doosey down our throats.

Donna Smirniotopoulos February 1, 2018 at 2:57 pm

George Wallace, two term Alabama governor, was both openly racist and a longtime democrat. The Democratic Party was the party of Jim Crow. No one expects all democrats to be ideologically identical. Nancy Pelosi is a capitalist. Bernie Sanders is a socialist (and not officially a democrat though he ran as one). Also I would guess there are some differences of opinion regarding what @Mike Mushak calls Trump’s “racist” policies. .

Marc, anyone willing to oppose Bob Duff and his track record of lackluster service to Norwalk and Darien should be applauded.

Rick February 1, 2018 at 3:47 pm

Mike your thoughts on the gas station and how Norwalk won’t need as many gas stations, electric is the future , what do we then focus on taxing electric rates? Which by the way Electric cars in Ct has history with Duff bad history they not welcomed in Ct as of today. Just ask duff and why? . Your in the wrong state to talk electric cars right now, Ct has no edge the door was closed when Duff dropped the ball.

Maybe you are right most cars will not be using electric, so instead of having a Cumberland farms, your option will kick start The Manresa Island sooner than later.

As you know NY has to do all of the 24 or so power plants over using Norwalk to pinch hit for Long Island where we are still hooked up receiving electric from LI to maintain the transformers still in our pant in Norwalk using the new transatlantic cable ever source bought into. , we could send electric back to Long Island.

Mike focus in Norwalk , trump is trump and you are you and Marc is Marc and ill always be Rick.

The here and now is Norwalk is screwed, its located in Ct.

Those who supported duff supported some of the rotten core on the Democratic side for years I was one of them.

here and now now gas tax or electric tax, seems your party has run out of taxing things its hurting all of us.

Im not anti anything but I am Pro American trust that label doesn’t come with controversy .

Relax we will here from Marc in due time right now its mending fences with some of us Democrats and vote for the best candidate, and right now its Marc without even knowing how he takes his coffee,

Lisa Brinton Thomson February 1, 2018 at 4:18 pm

@ Mike Mushak, Leave Trump out of this. You accused me of being ‘Trump’ in a sort of half ‘dog whistle – half theater of the absurd’ tactic for daring to challenge the Connecticut Democrat Party machine, which presides over their own brand of fiscal incompetency, criminality and cronyism. Single party rule, which sadly is now the case in Norwalk has effectively run CT into the ground. Common sense has gone out the window, along with employers and residents fleeing in record numbers. All of your beloved apartments won’t bring them back. The side show in DC has little to do with the fiscal mismanagement we are faced with here. Stick to those issues Marc and ignore Mushak’s off topic social bait (like I should have 🙂 and best of luck!

Patrick Cooper February 1, 2018 at 4:45 pm

Unless I really missed something, the article is about how Marc D’Amelio is running against Bob Duff, not Donald Trump. Perhaps if our resident agitator would like to take a different assignment – rather than trying to link one person to another – why not simply layout in detail all of the accomplishments of his candidate?

Specifically – I would like to understand what specific legislation and/or support has been enacted or enabled by our state senator (the majority lead) that positively impact’s Norwalk’s Property Taxpaying residents? Then also explain – why is the Norwalk Grand List lower today than in 2009? Why are housing values down, and taxes up? He’s a realtor (who sells no houses) – perhaps he has an answer? Why is there a 3 year plus exodus from this state, including businesses, high net worth individuals, and millennials?

Scammers’ have long used distraction and deception to move the eye’s and minds off the facts. All I hope is the LOCAL voter’s get smart and start looking at the platforms – the agenda’s – and the candidates based on merit – not just party affiliation. Marc – stick to the facts – and ignore the naysayers tossing boob bait. Norwalk is quickly transitioning to a city of transients and the disenfranchised. Our voter turnout underscores the apathy. Time for a change, or time to cut and run. I don’t want to wake up in 5 years – and realize my city has been Mushed into Bridgeport – complete with bike paths.

Rick February 1, 2018 at 5:49 pm

I’d put up my boxing bell for round two but Nancy has work to do,,thanks Nancy for writing a great article beats the press releases that your sent , your work is always so much better and accurate . You were just as professional when Greg ran against Bob , Marc is in good company.

This is a Darien story as well and good news travels. so voters in Darien will enjoy this as well.

Ct OLR research report in 2011
Many businesses, including large multistate and multinational corporations, are headquartered in Connecticut. Of the 54,595 companies listed in Bloomberg L.P.’s October 2011 company index, 570 have their headquarters here. In addition, 11 companies listed on the 2011 Fortune 500, and 23 listed on the Fortune 1000, are headquartered in Connecticut.

Looking at the stats today so much has changed


Xerox moved its headquarters to Norwalk in 2008, relocating 325 employees at the time and maintaining a workforce since hovering around 300 people.

Zerox today

December 2016, Xerox recommited to Norwalk as its headquarters but with half the staff it had brought from Stamford a decade earlier, in exchange for $4.4 million in incentives as it moved its offices to Merritt 7 Corporate Park from its previous home in the nearby Towers campus. The Connecticut incentives required Xerox to maintain a headquarters staff of at least 150 people

ten minutes ago
(Reuters) – Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings is set to take over Xerox Corp in a $6.1 billion deal, combining the U.S. company into their existing joint venture to gain scale and cut costs amid declining demand for office printing.

Sounds like a Norwalk ct problem right now.

Mayor anything to add?

Mike Mushak February 1, 2018 at 8:01 pm

With all due respect, to say Trump and his policies are not relevant to CT is absurd. That must be a joke I guess. I have to give the benefit of the doubt to my friends here.

A litmus test for any Republican or Democrat or Independent running for any local or statewide office in CT must ABSOLUTELY be their support or repudiation of Trump and his corrupt policies, including the estimated average 30% tax hike on CT residents from the tax bill that far exceeds any of Malloy’s previous tax hikes. Oops.

Oh, then there’s all those “extra little favors” Trump and the GOP leadership are responsible for doing for us right here in CT over the last year, like oil rigs now being allowed off our coast (did you miss that part perhaps, and especially the part where he exempted Florida where Mar a Lago just happens to be located?), air pollution standards loosened so our already dirty air here in CT from Ohio Valley coal plants and other industries will get even dirtier with carcinogenic mercury, arsenic, and lead, and the loosening of water quality standards (just happened this week) so the precious Long Island Sound can return that to that nostalgic era of when it was an ecological dead zone and polluted cesspool. And just in time when we started getting whales and bald eagles again around the Norwalk Islands after decades of hard work to clean it up. All gone with a stroke of Trump’s poison pen as he signs executive orders and laws surrounded by corporate fat cats grinning from ear to ear.

Oh, but its pro-business they tell us, as if the billion dollar recreational boating and fishing and tourist industries here in CT are just chopped liver. And preserving our precious environment for future generations? What a quant liberal snowflake idea! And what about Norwalk’s multi-million dollar oystering industry? Well, who except a liberal would really care if we can now dump pollution into the Sound and its huge watershed (that covers 4 states and stretches all way to Canada) if we can make million more in profits.

So, where is the Republican outrage? Are they just too busy watching Fox News where everything about Trump is awesome, Russia and climate change are liberal hoaxes, and “draining the swamp” has disappeared as fast as that other bogus campaign promise “Mexico will pay for it”?

So yes indeed, what happens in DC has everything to do with us here in CT, as you will soon find out if you haven’t read the tax bill yet, or heard about all the gutting of decades of regulations protecting our air and water and beautiful rivers and coastline and harbors.

And while I’m at it, whatever happened to “blue lives matter”? As the FBI and Mueller get closer to exposing the corruption, now suddenly the GOP has decided federal law enforcers are America’s enemy number one. Go figure.

Wait, there’s more. What about those other “little things” from Trump you won’t see on Fox News, about gutting affordable healthcare to favor corporate profits as folks die from lack of care, gutting federal support for public education to favor under-performing for-profit charter schools, increasing prison populations with racist policies by abandoning bipartisan prison reform (just because Obama supported it), and increasing student debt and allowing the bad banks and bogus colleges and trade schools eager to rip off desperate students again.

Remember Trump University and the presidents settling of fraud charges? I know, that is so last year, but as relevant as ever to all of us, especially young folks here in CT trying to get ahead and burdened with student debt.

So I will ask again: Does this state Senate candidate who wants to represent us here in Norwalk, support or repudiate Trump and his corrupt policies, that have EVERYTHING to do with us here in Norwalk? (Despite a previous commenter demanding that I “leave Trump out of this”. No, I won’t, nor should any thinking voter of any party in CT or in any political race anywhere across the country this year.)

These are desperate times and the history books will be written some day about this era, describing who stood on the right side of history and who didn’t. For better or worse, Trump is a Republican supported by the Republican Party. Therefore, any Republican running for office has a choice: denounce Trump, or stand behind him, and let history be the judge.

Tysen Canevari February 1, 2018 at 10:06 pm

@ Mike We are talking about a local state senate race here. Maybe you should write into the Washington papers rather than Nancy on Norwalk. It was a simple press release not a Trump list of haters or followers. It will be fun to watch Duff vs D’Amelio. Should be some interesting debates ahead. Let the fun begin.

Lisa Brinton Thomson February 1, 2018 at 10:07 pm

Mike, Instead of focusing on Trump, why not focus on something closer to home – convince Harry to combine planning and zoning and put in place a transparent notification procedure. While at it, focus on collecting tax revenue from slum landlords with illegal apartments that burn down or have families using the overcrowded school system. The city will take your house if you don’t pay your property taxes, why not, at a minimum start fining landlords to get their properties into compliance and on the tax rolls?

These are also REAL issues that impact Norwalkers, regardless of gender, creed or color and impact the quality of life in our city. As a former zoning and current planning commissioner, your time, knowledge and expertise might be better spent focusing on those issues. For example, you can’t professionally operate your landscaping business without a strategic plan nor let your costs outweigh revenues because you let ‘friends’ get away without paying. Neither can the City of Norwalk.

Donna Smirniotopoulos February 1, 2018 at 11:27 pm

Like saying Jimmy Carter drowned Mary Jo Kapekne. But please go on. The implosion will be wonderful.

JOHN C. ROMANO February 2, 2018 at 8:07 am

It is entertaining to read MUSHAK’S rantings, right out of the communist hand book, yes he is trying to defuse or skirt the real issues. What does TRUMP have to do with Ct. or Norwalk. Mike puts himself out there as the all seeing, all knowing of the left of the left. Mike take the blinders off, stop with the left’s talking points and get real. Ct. is in trouble, trouble caused by the D’s in Hartford DUFF/MALLOY and their minions. It is time for a change. Actually long over due.

V February 2, 2018 at 8:38 am

By Mushaks logic if you are a registered Republican you support Trump and ALL of his policies. So I suppose the following are accurate to-
If you were a German in 1940 you supported Hitler
If you are a practicing Muslim you support terrorism.
If your Russian you support Putin
If you’re a man you’ve sexually harassed women.
Of course all of this defies logic borderlines on insanity and is offensive to anyone falling in those parameters but I’m no Mushak so therefore I must be a fool.

Mike Mushak February 2, 2018 at 8:56 am

I notice the personal attacks increase when I ask straightforward questions. It’s a simple statement to say you denounce or support Trump, especially if you are a Republican running for any office in 2018, and supporting the party that put him in power and is now corrupting our once-respected watchdog institutions like the House Intelligence Committee to protect him.

Btw, @V above, if you were a German in 1940 who didn’t support Hilter you were in pretty big trouble. I recall stories of brainwashed Hitler Youth reporting their own parents to the Gestapo if they dared speak ill of their feuhrer. I find that all your other examples are quite revealing, in comparing your subjects to Republicans support for Trump. Was that a Freudian slip perhaps?

Reasonable Doubt February 2, 2018 at 10:17 am

I would be concerned that any overtly Republican person presenting in front of the Planning Commission would not get a fair hearing given the bias noted above in Mike Mushake’s statements.

Could this potentially lead to a law suit filed against the City of Norwalk if that were perceived to have happened? Certainly something to consider.

Donna Smirniotopoulos February 2, 2018 at 3:20 pm

The GOP did not put Trump in power. The people did with the help of the electoral college. Asking GOP candidates to take a litmus test on Trump is not too far removed from asking democratic leaders if they are willing to publicly denounce the millions who voted for Trump. Barring proof of widespread voter fraud, Trump was the winner. If the Democratic Party entertains hope of regaining the White House in 2020, telling the millions whose votes you lost in 2016 they’re racists is not the best way to win them back.

@Reasonable Doubt, agree with your assessment too.

Mike Mushak February 2, 2018 at 6:54 pm

Hey, gotta love when the GOP circles the wagons and goes on the personal attack! I’m used to it. I didn’t say a bad word about anyone or about Republicans in general, who I mostly adore even if I disagree with your positions. No, I just hate Trump and what he’s doing to our country here and abroad. And I’m not alone, trust me!

Give me a break, Norwalk RTC, as I’m actually doing you a big favor. Consider me the proverbial groundhog on this Feb 2nd. I woke up this morning and saw my shadow and predict you’ll have 9 more months of Trump questions thrown at you.

If you think I’ll be the only one asking this or any Republican candidate for office anywhere across the country where they stand with Trump, I won’t be. It’s the biggest issue all over so don’t stick your heads in the sand. You might end up as surprised as the Alabama GOP was when they woke up after Election Day with the first Democratic Senator in decades.

There’s also a good reason a record number of GOP congress members (forty I believe) are retiring this year. And most of them aren’t that old! They are smart and see the writing on the wall.

If you think the millions of folks who marched last year and this year too in cities across the country just wanted some fresh air, get real. I marched in Stamford in the Women’s March a year ago and it drew ten times what was expected, the largest gathering in Stamford’s history. Records for marchers broke across the nation as right wing media poked fun and at the folks marching like it was high school. We didn’t forget, especially after the disastrous past year for our country on so many levels.

For many of us, it’s not just about the stock market, although I was thrilled it was rising along with everyone. Besides, as the market tanked today by 500 points, I just had to shake my head as I watched Fox News on the treadmill at the gym (I watch it sometimes like I watch a car crash, horrified at the spectacle Im seeing), completely drop the stock ticker they’ve displayed every day for months as the market soared. Suddenly no more stock ticker! Guess Fox viewers couldn’t handle the ugly truth? Watch Trump try to blame Hillary’s emails for the market crash, lol. Or Benghazi! Or those thousands of Muslims he saw dancing in NJ on 9/11 that no else but him saw. Oh well, maybe we can just get Mexico to pay for the market loss! I digress. {…}

As far as my ability to be impartial on the Planning Commission being compromised by my political opinions and leading to potential lawsuits, that’s laughable and legally implausible. Any judge would throw that out faster than week old bread. That’s why “Reasonable Doubt” didn’t have the courage to post that under his or her real name. This is America don’t forget, and we don’t give up our constitutional right to free speech because we serve on a land use board. {…} Reasonable doubt indeed, lol.

So instead of wasting your time attacking me, Norwalk RTC, I suggest you sit down and hone your skills at somehow miraculously separating your candidates from Trump. You’ll need the practice.

BTW, last Election Day as I stood in the cold rain at Columbus School for 14 hours campaigning with my friends Donna S (commenting here) and Ernie D for our various candidates, the common theme many voters shared was an angry cry of “NO TRUMP!” even though it was a purely local election. Same thing happened at other polling locations across the country according to press reports. The election results over the past year in Norwalk and across the country speak for themselves.

Proceed at your own risk….

Edited to remove an insult and an instance of ascribing motives without proof, which are violations of the comments policy. http://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/comment-guidelines/

US Blues February 5, 2018 at 2:58 pm

Wow, no idea of what Mike was “reading” or “hearing” last election or is it the dimwitted dems who didn’t realize they were voting in local elections… “no Trump” lol!!!

Mike Mushak February 5, 2018 at 11:06 pm

@US Blues, consider this your free political science lesson courtesy of a “dimwitted Dem” lol.

The actual truth you didn’t see on Fox was the huge nationwide anti-Trump tsunami in last Novemer’s election, even though he wasn’t on the ballot, and all experts on both sides of the aisle are predicting that effect will continue this November including here in CT. http://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/359344-trump-resistance-wins-tsunami-elections-in-2017

As I said , the Norwalk and CT GOP must declare their support or repudiation of the worst president in American history, and should proceed at their own risk. And why not use your real name? Just curious.

V February 6, 2018 at 10:03 am

“that effect will continue this November including here in CT” would mean what exactly? That we Nutmeggers CONTINUE voting Democratic?
Poor example/Freudian Slip?

US Blues February 6, 2018 at 11:39 am

Do you “declare their support or repudiation of the worst” GOVERNOR in the United States who has more of direct effect of policy makings than the president? Got Love them taxes, eh?

V February 6, 2018 at 1:48 pm

“A recent Morning Consult poll found Gov. Dannel Malloy to be the second-least popular governor in the nation with an approval rating of 23 percent.” That’s Chris Christie territory right there! Do you support or repudiate?

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