Westport gubernatorial forum to feature Rowayton Cowboy

Scott Merrell makes an appearance at the 2017 Norwalk Republican Town Committee nominating convention in The Norwalk Inn. (Harold Cobin)

NORWALK, Conn. – A bipartisan group of 18 gubernatorial candidates will be showcased April 21 in Westport, including “The Rowayton Cowboy.”

The League of Women Voters is presenting the gubernatorial forum in conjunction with the Maker Faire, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. in Westport Town Hall.

“The Gubernatorial Forum will showcase the eighteen candidates as they share their thinking and planning for the state,” a press release said. “Each candidate will speak, and each will have his or her photo posted with a brief bio on the League’s website.  The group—representing Democrats, Republicans, Independents and Unaffiliateds—will be from Bridgeport, Branford, Coventry, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Hartford, Hebron, Newington, New Haven, Norwalk, Riverside, Stamford, Trumbull, West Hartford, Willimantic, and lastly, from Westport.”

Candidates slated to appear are:

  • Sean Connolly, Democrat
  • Thomas Ford, Independent
  • Joe Ganim, Democrat
  • Oz Griebel, unaffiliated
  • Mark Stewart Greenstein, Democrat
  • Michael Handler, Republican
  • Jonathon Harris, Democrat
  • Tim Herbst, Republican
  • Marisa Manley, unaffiliated
  • Eric Mastroianni, Republican
  • Scott Merrell, Republican
  • Guy Smith, Democrat
  • Prasad Srinivasan, Republican
  • Peter Thalheim, Republican
  • David M. Walker, Republican
  • Michah Welintukonis, unaffiliated
  • Lee Whithum, Democrat
  • Jacey Wyatt, Democrat


Merrell became known as the “Rowayton Cowboy” through a very public property tax battle in mid-2000s, although he lived in Wilson Point at the time. He lost that Wilson Point home in the 2008 Norwalk tax sale and was subsequently arrested.

(League of Women Voters)

Merrell filed papers last year to run for governor and said he was running for Norwalk mayor at the same time. His mayoral campaign fizzled, and he did not appear on the ballot. Merrell previously ran for governor in 2006, 2010 and 2014 and described himself as a whistle-blower/investigator/qui-tam-relator, last year in an FOI request to the tax collector’s office.

The forum will be part of the Maker Faire, the League press release said.

“The Maker Faire, part science fair, part county fair, is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students and commercial exhibitors,” the release said. “This annual event, now in its 7th year, is projected to draw more than 12,000 participants of all ages to Westport.”

The release said:

“The League of Women Voters of Westport, now in its 68th year, is a non-partisan political organization which promotes informed and active participation in government and the community.  The LWV neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate.  For information, visit the League’s website at lwvwestport.org and Facebook: Westport League of Women Voters.  To learn more about the Maker Faire, go to makerfaire/westport.”


Piberman April 12, 2018 at 9:55 am

So far none of the candidates has published a detailed plan that’s been favorably viewed by budget analysts. So we know our future. A new Governor and our same our part time Legisalture not familiar with freshman level economics and finance means the “same old”. CT will continue to disappoint.

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