NORWALK, Conn. – Here’s a roundup of Norwalk election news:
- NAACP plans Himes/Arora town hall
- Wilms endorsed by Independent Party
- Lavielle endorsed by Independent Party
NAACP, Divine Nine, present town hall
U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-Greenwich) and his Republican opponent in the fall election, Harry Arora, are set to meet Wednesday in Norwalk for a town hall organized by the Norwalk Branch NAACP and The Divine Nine.
The event runs from 6 to 9 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 29 in the City Hall community room. Himes will present from 6 to 6:45 p.m. and Arora will present from 7 to 7:45 p.m.
Organizers hope the town hall will address health care equity, education equity, voting rights, civil/human rights, economic equity and financial security, Medicare and Medicaid, prescription drug costs, women’s rights, planned parenthood, immigration and DACA, gun control measures, educational reforms and school funding, a flier sent by Norwalk Branch NAACP President Brenda Penn-Williams said.
“There are nine historically Black Greek letter organizations (BGLOs) that make up the National Pan‐Hellenic Council. Collectively, these organizations are referred to as ‘The Divine Nine,’” the release said.
State Rep. Fred Wilms (R-142) has been endorsed by the Independent Party of Connecticut, meaning his name will appear on the ballot on both the Republican and Independent lines.
“I was honored to receive the Republican nomination in May. However because Connecticut’s crisis transcends political labels, I sought out the Independent endorsement as well. We all need to work together,” Wilms said in a press release.
Wilms was first elected as State Rep. Larry Cafero’s successor in 2014. He was reelected in 2016. He previously served 15 years in Norwalk government, including on the Common Council, Water Pollution Control Authority and Zoning Board of Appeals. He also served as the Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET) Chairman from 2005 to 2013.
He is quoted in the press release as saying:
“Connecticut is in the midst of a huge economic and fiscal crisis. GE is gone. Our economy has shrunk 8 percent. We have a hostile business environment, high taxes, massive unfunded liabilities and a $5 billion budget deficit for 2019 – 2020. With my strong finance background I bring a fresh perspective to saving our State.
“We need to get our economy growing again. The best creators of new jobs are small businesses. Small businesses do not see the State as their friend. We need to lower business taxes, reform unemployment and workers compensation costs and scrap job-killing mandates. As a Senior Vice President at Webster Bank, I work with small businesses in the Norwalk and New Canaan areas. I experience their frustrations every working day.”
Wilms is quoted as saying: “We also need to get our fiscal house in order. We should scrap the estate tax, reform the income tax, confront the unsustainable state employee pension and benefits costs, outsource the horrible Department of Motor Vehicles and transfer social services to the more effective not-for-profit sector.”
He said, “As important as the issues are, nothing beats serving the personal needs of my constituents. My office has worked to reinstate people’s health care insurances and restore medicine prescriptions that had been cut off. We have helped homeowners save money on their monthly electric bills. As your State Legislator, I will always look for new ways to help.”
Wilms is being challenged for reelection by Democrat Lucy Dathan of New Canaan.
Lavielle picks up Independent Party endorsement
Also receiving an Independent Party endorsement is State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143).
Lavielle will appear on both the Republican and Independent ballot lines.
“I am very pleased to have received the endorsement of the Independent Party, which I believe reflects my approach of considering every issue on its merits, working with people of all political affiliations to get things done, and representing my constituents, who hold a broad spectrum of viewpoints, first and foremost,” Lavielle is quoted as saying in a press release. “I am honored that independent-minded people see the value of my work in representing our district. Connecticut’s persistent fiscal crisis and serious economic issues transcend politics and demand clear and objective thinking, honest working relationships, and transparency for the state’s residents.
Lavielle has represented Wilton and parts of Westport and Norwalk as State Representative since 2011.
“Irresponsible financial management and a habit of making promises that our state cannot afford have jeopardized our state’s economy, but if everyone in the General Assembly rises above politics and special interests to confront the issues, we can reverse the trend,” Lavielle is quoted as saying. “We must dramatically change the way state government is managed, and put the people of Connecticut first. At the same time, we must work equally hard to preserve Connecticut’s values of respect for the individual. While residents of all ages and backgrounds are fearful of not being able to have a future here, it is respect for each of them that obligates those of us serving in CT’s government to ensure them that future by restoring our state’s finances and economy. This is my focus, and an obligation that I take very much to heart.”
“We believe Gail will be an independent-minded voice in the state legislature seeking an accessible and responsible state government that works for all residents,” Michael Duff, State Chairman of the Connecticut Independent Party is quoted in the release as saying. “Her views on government spending, taxes, overall budget reform and the dire need for economic growth reflect our goals. We enthusiastically endorse Gail’s candidacy, and look forward to her victory in November.”
Democrat Stephanie Thomas of Norwalk is challenging Lavielle.