Norwalk Republican Senate hopeful D’Amelio makes first speech as candidate

Norwalk Republican State Senate hopeful Marc D’Amelio speaks Friday in The Blind Rhino, a SoNo sports bar.

NORWALK, Conn. – Marc D’Amelio took the microphone Friday to say the words for the first time: “I am seeking the Republican nomination for the 25th Senate seat in Connecticut.”

D’Amelio, a Republican, made his official announcement during a combined Norwalk Republican Town Committee/College Republicans fundraiser at The Blind Rhino in SoNo, instantly breaking the traditional rules by mentioning his opponent’s name.

Video by Harold Cobin at end of story. 

“I can assure you, you will never get us confused. I am much different from Bob Duff. I don’t act like Bob,” D’Amelio said. “… I have a different style than Bob. I will not govern like Bob.”

The incumbent Duff, State Senate Majority Leader and a Democrat, has been District 25 State Senator for 13 years. D’Amelio and Duff might think differently but they have one thing in common: both were born and raised in Norwalk.

D’Amelio said he is the son of a single mother, who “worked tirelessly” and “never took a dime of public assistance.”

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Herbst called D’Amelio “a businessman with a business background” who “stepped up because he is fed up.”

RTC Chairman Mark Suda noted that Norwalk Republicans have regained their enthusiasm, with more than 100 people attending a fundraiser he had expected up to 40 participants in.

D’Amelio said he needed to raise $16,000 and get 300 signatures, and in the three or four days since his candidacy became public, $5,000 had been raised.

His activism began with involvement in Norwalk High School parents activities and escalated with a trip to Hartford to testify for increased education funding, he said, taking a shot at Duff’s slogan “Standing up for you,” by saying, “That day I didn’t even see him sitting for you.”

D’Amelio said, “I told Mark Suda that this is not your Daddy’s Republican Party anymore and I am not going to be a traditional candidate.”


Skyler R April 28, 2018 at 7:36 am

Good luck Marc
Bob Duff is the ultimate example of an entrenched politician
He has conned so many voters with his traffic and weather reports — he should be working in Hartford to fix the financial disaster that is the State of CT. Instead we get those reports and tons of spin.
What has he done for Norwalk?

Rick April 28, 2018 at 7:46 am

The city has been hurt by the Democrats and were never traditional Kennedy Democrats anyways. Pack of wolves on a construction coffee truck.

Now we have the ambulance chasing legal staff ramping up for the election.We already see what priorities are.

Lets divide the Democrats some more, lets give Wall st 1 million for the train station and make a East Norwalk fire station with the left over money for a full engine company with a ladder and full boat crew.At least dozen firefighters per shift.

Let’s not forget we need about ten new inspectors and a full time environmental officer that doesn’t work for Charlie.

That’s going to take some State money, Marc. Norwalk will run out sooner than later.

Donna Smirniotopoulos April 28, 2018 at 10:06 am

Notably, Bob Duff did not attend the Harbor Keepers Walk Bridge forum held earlier in the evening. When he’s not standing up for us, he’s hiding out. Mark Suda and Mark D’Amelio might consider writing Bob a note of thanks, though. As a lifelong registered democrat who rarely pulls an R lever, Bob Duff has almost single-handedly turned my head around on party politics in the state of Connecticut. Of all the votes I cast in 2016, the one I regret most deeply is the one I gave to Duff. Mark D’Amelio will not be an ice cream social senator who shows up for photo ups and who pushes through dubious pieces of legislation, but who really isn’t there when you need him.

In the summer of 2016, Bob Duff appeared to come to the rescue of Quintard neighbors beleaguered by the threat of a neighborhood prison operated by Firetree. Now that the city is ready to issue a permit for Firetree to open up shop for 18 drug addicts, Bob Duff is MIA. During the two year interval, Duff could have—and SHOULD have—introducted legislation at the state level to regulate congregate living homes in residential neighborhoods in order to protect families. These homes are popping up everywhere. They are completely unregulated. The mayor dropped this bomb on Quintard as a result of complete neglect, bungled decision-making and/or bad legal advice. Instead of trying to protect neighborhoods from these and similar threats at the state level, Bob Duff stands shoulder to shoulder with Rilling at every ribbon cutting, Lobster Day, and photo op the city has to offer, and even a few he just made up.

I don’t know about any traditional rules that forbid mentioning your opponent’s name. Bob Duff {…} the 25th CT Senate district. You can’t talk about winning this race if you don’t mention his name.
Edited to remove an insult, a violation of the comments policy. https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/comment-guidelines/

Paul Lanning April 28, 2018 at 12:48 pm

The problem with sending Republicans to the state house, regardless of how well qualified they might be, is that when re-apportionment causes voting districts to be re-drawn, the new Republican-drawn maps will send Republicans to Washington–where they will align with fellow Republicans in bestowing all our country’s resources upon a few hundred multi-billionaires, and in supporting a dishonest, immoral, incompetent President.

Drewt April 28, 2018 at 11:01 pm

@ronmorris You really serious with that comment? Maybe you should look at who is representing you like guys like Bob Duff. If you can avoid holding your laughter for a second good luck. Marc Suda and Marc D’Amelio are fine men and have nothing but the best interests of this City and State. And maybe you should take a moment to get to know them as I have over the last couple years and manny memebrs of our City. They are the new blood with the right attitude and desire we want and need now!

Lisa H April 29, 2018 at 12:29 am

@RonMorris. Marc and Mark are putting themselves out there, wanting to make a difference in our community/state. That’s the best you could come up with? After you put the time and effort into effecting change in our community/ state, please comment, again. Until then…

Donna Smirniotopoulos April 29, 2018 at 8:21 am

@Ron Morris, the big joke is Senate Majority Leaser Bob Duff. Mark D’Amelio would like to correct the ECS formula to bring more of our tax dollars back into Norwalk. Mark Suda recognizes that single party rule is tanking our economy.

Ron Morris April 29, 2018 at 1:51 pm

D’Amelio says zero of substance in his speech.. Typical Trump Republican. Also can someone please tell me what if anything Suda has done for Norwalk that he was not highly paid to do?

Rick April 29, 2018 at 3:13 pm

Ron the police dept got their accreditation it was under the Democratic mayor.Thats a big deal anyone could of participated if you didn’t tha was your chance to change a lot of things.

We understand there is a rift among people in Norwalk with all the court cases over things that have transpired with the police dept as well .The city has lost some of the largest suits in history with this Democratic mayor.Still others to be heard .

We all realize police officers vote and have party affiliations and they at times are not popular. Look what we have now.

One would think having police officers at the mall and not in any of the local bars monitoring the blow trade in Norwalk would be better for a lot of people.

We have had 13 years of nose bleeds and no one got punched in the face.

There are those Democrats who support a dishonest, immoral, incompetent President for some of us its turned into a sport to watch.

Suda is fighting Duff for us paying his debt for all those highly paid years in public service one could say.

Maybe if the republicans were in charge in Norwalk we would of heard more about the National Take Back Day is April 28


instead we heard about

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk plans to sue opioid distributors and manufacturers, Corporation Counsel Mario Coppola said


Now the story of the day is how much did Norwalk police collect?

A good lawyer will point out what Norwalk hasn’t done to prepare for such a suit and how much time the city has spent on its own to clean up the city.

Himes and Murhpy come blowing into town riding a wave of democracy all hell bent on making a splash

Jim and his 73 witnesses interviewed, 350,000 documents inspected but jim himes still feels more witnesses are needed House Intelligence Committee issued a final report Friday , Jim Ct needs money

Murphy well this is a winner


We can all find fault with any politician but when they are all from the same party its a royal flush.

The Democratic party too has changed its not what a Kennedy led party was, at least in Ct anymore.

Connecticut’s minimum wage is currently $10.10 an hour is on the Democrat’s values agenda this week anyone ?

John S April 30, 2018 at 11:16 am

I agree that we need a change from Bob Duffs PR show but does either Mark/Marc really have the support to unseat Duff?

We need more than “interest” and the “right attitude” in Hartford and Norwalk.
Two inexperienced politicians aren’t going to get it done.

An individual needs more than party affiliation and good intentions.
He’s never held public office and couldn’t even win a BOE seat on his home turf.

So my question is…. This is the best candidate the party could find to challenge Duff?

Nancy Chapman April 30, 2018 at 2:24 pm

Please see previous explanations that consistent violators will at times have to wait longer to see comments approved. Wait times for consistent violators may be lengthened if a comment requires input from a volunteer adviser who is unavailable, or if the adviser(s) and/or the writer desire a break.

Drewt April 30, 2018 at 9:11 pm

@john S Marc is an fantastic choice to go up against Do Nothing Duff. He is a Family Man, Grew up in Norwalk, successful business owner. He is sick and tired of Norwal being screwed by people like Bob who only cares about a Photo Op, Lobsters and Ice Cream. You are correct Marc didn’t win the election but he received the HIGHEST vote getter of any other candidate in the Republican Party. He wants to see change and results. And they fact he never held public office is truly an assets! He is not jaded by the Norwalk or This is how Hartford works way. He has fresh ideas and the desire to truly represent our great City. You really should get to know Marc more in the coming weeks and get onboard the train because Duff is about to get hit by it!

John C. Romano April 30, 2018 at 10:04 pm

Some people get it Ron not so much. Change is a big word, it is the new buzz word especially for CT. The change we need besides physical responsibility and for Norwalk to get it’s fair share is supporting the future Gov. and their team to make the right choices. Marc D’Amelio is a business man, runs a nation wide company that has performed well enough to allow him the ability to seek office. This is an endeavor that is well thought out and he not only has his families support but also the support of the people of Norwalk/Darien who are fed up with the smoke and mirrors, spin, spin, spin, (which some would equate to lies) As a business man he will bring that acumen to the State Senate and make the hard choices based on his take of things, not like BOB who is joined at the hip with Malloy who is the epitome of the left of the left in his their thinking. Easy question to yourself, do you want someone with socialist leanings or a tried and proven businessman making decisions on your behalf. Changes are coming, if not we are doomed.

Mark Suda May 1, 2018 at 7:53 am

Ron anytime you would like to sit down and discuss my abilities or experiences just let me know, I’m very easy to find. Also if you are so concerned about this great City maybe you should identify yourself and stop using a pseudo name! Don’t hide and keep talking myths about the City and the Police Department. State your real name in these posts and let’s see what kind of citizen you are?

John S May 1, 2018 at 2:48 pm

I’d really like to see someone replace Duff but you’re all drinking the Republican Kool-aid instead of looking within the party to find a real candidate that can beat Duff.

Stop being so arrogant and look at the playing field.

He’ll never make it to Hartford if you can’t win the election.

DrewT May 1, 2018 at 11:56 pm

@johns Marc is directly from the RTC! Maybe you should get to know him a little bit and you will see and understand why he is the BEST Candidate to Defeat Bob Duff!

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