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!”