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.”