Updated, 5:57 a.m.: Copy edits
NORWALK, Conn. —Here’s a roundup of election-related items:
- Simms’ Council colleagues endorse his opponent for state rep
- Sead claims Norwalk DTC isn’t promoting Simms
- Republican candidates Page and D’Amelio oppose Malloy’s toll study
- League of Women Voters shares election info
Melendez, Yerinides endorse Hosten over Simms
Common Council members Eloisa Melendez and Chris Yerinides, both District A Democrats, have endorsed Colin Hosten to become the Democratic-endorsed candidate for state representative in District 140.
Hosten, a newcomer to politics, is challenging Council member Travis Simms (D-District B), who won the endorsement at the Democratic caucus, in the Aug. 14 primary. The candidates are seeking the seat currently held by Rep. Bruce Morris (D-14o), who is not running for re-election. District 140 is heavily Democratic.
Melendez has served with Simms for five years. Yerinides is new to the Council, having won election last fall.
A press release explained:
“’I’ve enjoyed an open and honest dialogue with Colin,’ Yerindes said on Monday. ‘I know I’ll be able to relay my constituent issues to him and have them addressed appropriately at the state level.’
“Melendez said that she was most impressed with Hosten’s work ethic. ‘I don’t think anyone has been campaigning harder in this race,’ she added. ‘We need more of that energy and dedication in Hartford. We need a Democrat who will do the work.’
“’I’m humbled by this show of support from Chris and Eloisa,’ Hosten said. ‘It’s a reminder that we make more progress by working together than by building walls between people. I hope to be a strong advocate for all of Norwalk if I am elected as State Representative.’”
State legislative districts are different from municipal districts.
“Approximately one-third of the 140th House District falls within Municipal District A,” the press release states, going on to explain that most of it is in District B and a small amount is in District E.
Hosten, a Village Creek resident, is in District E. The caucus was held in District B.
Hosten has been endorsed by the Working Families Party, Run for Success and Planned Parenthood, and is a Gun Sense Candidate of Distinction from Moms Demand Action.
Simms did not respond to an email asking about the endorsements.
Sead slams Rilling, DTC, for not supporting Simms
The Norwalk Democratic Town Committee is supporting all of its endorsed candidates except Simms, former Democratic Common Council candidate Jalin Sead said in a Facebook post.
“I find it extremely strange that I’ve received multiple emails from the Norwalk Democratic Town Committee, supporting all of its Endorsed Candidates, either asking for money, or my time, the one Endorsed Candidate I have not received an email about is Travis Simms. The must be too busy trying to help the guy who lost the caucus… WAKE UP NORWALK VOTE TRAVIS SIMMS AUGUST 14!!!”
Asked about this via email, Sead slammed Mayor Harry Rilling and the DTC:
“I am very unhappy with the DTC and the Mayor on this issue. I think this election shows how unfair they have been. What has caused my frustration is my personal experiences with the leadership of the DTC and the Mayor.
“When I ran for Common Council in 2015 I met with the Mayor at Penny’s Diner, with Rhonda Teel, Nicol Ayers, and Mrs. Carolyn Fuller; at that meeting the mayor told us to stay focus, and he said that he would stay out of the primary because it would be unethical to support candidates before a Primary. I understood that, that seemed fair. However in this election cycle, The Mayor Endorsed Colin before a Caucus had taken place.
“A year ago when Kadeem Roberts was running for Common Council, I suggested that District A allow all candidates an opportunity to simply speak to the district. Ms. King and Mr. Camacho said that it wouldn’t be appropriate because the DTC has their Endorsed candidates, and the challenger is basically going against the DTCs endorsement. But, now you have the Chair of the DTC, the CoChair of the DTC, and many high ranking Democratic Elected officials supporting a challenging candidate.
“Technically speaking you can say the DTC as a whole has not been supporting a candidate. HOWEVER, if you have the Chair, CoChair, Mayor, and other supporting a candidate it sends a message of support from the entire party to the public.
“These are just my personal views and experiences. I have been reached out to by the Mayor and others, and Ms. King mentioned in one article that I haven’t reached out to the Mayor. My reasoning for that is because, I am tired of meeting or speaking with people, and being told one thing in private, but something completely different being done in public.”
Melendez, who has endorsed Simms, was recently elected NDTC vice chairwoman.
Neither DTC Chairman Ed Camacho nor Rilling replied to NancyOnNorwalk emails asking for a response to Sead’s comments.
Camacho answered Sead’s post on Facebook: “Jalin, the NDTC remains neutral with respect to candidates involved in primaries. We have taken no official position with respect to any candidates for constitutional office or state representative in which there is an announced primary. That would be inappropriate. Of course, individual members of the NDTC are free to support the candidate they believe possesses the requisite skills and temperament to get the job done. I hope that clarifies any misunderstandings.”
Page, D’Amelio support special session to stop toll study
Norwalk Republicans met Monday to support a special session aimed at stopping Gov. Dannel Malloy from spending $10 million to study the feasibility of tolls in Connecticut.
State Senate candidate Marc D’Amelio and State Representative candidate Frank Page were the focus of the Republican presser in Constitution Park, with State Representatives Gail Lavielle (R-143), Fred Wilms (R-142) and Terrie Wood (R-141) there to support the sentiment, a press release said.
Malloy issued an executive order last month directing the Connecticut Department of Transportation to plan to implement tolls and study the impacts of such a plan. The State Bond Commission authorized Malloy’s request to borrow $10 million for the study.
“Currently, all 71 House Republicans have submitted signed petitions calling for a special session to address the toll study,” the release said. “At least five Democratic members of the House would be required to sign petitions in order for the chamber to come back into special session.”
D’Amelio is seeking to unseat State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25), while Page is taking on State Rep. Chris Perone (D-137). Page and D’Amelio have previously announced their opposition to the toll study.
“If I represented Norwalk in the legislature today, I would absolutely sign this petition to request a Special Session so they could prevent the expenditure of taxpayer money on studying tolls,” Page is quoted as saying in Monday’s release. “Our ‘future ex-governor’ Malloy called this $10 million a ‘drop in the bucket’ for the state, but he is talking about tax money paid by hard-working families in the 137th district. Norwalkers don’t need a study to tell us that tolls would make life in Connecticut even more unaffordable. I challenge my opponent – the ‘Transportation Czar’ – to sign this petition, too.”
“When I speak with people on the campaign trail, people are aware the state is in a fiscal crisis, and they all can’t understand why an entity in the middle of a fiscal crisis would want to take on even more debt,” D’Amelio is quoted as saying. “As someone running to represent Norwalk, whose schools are routinely underfunded and require additional resources, stopping wasteful spending by the legislature is an urgent matter. I think residents in the 25th senate district deserve to know where Sen. Bob Duff stands on this issue.”
Neither Duff nor Perone responded to a NancyOnNorwalk email relaying Page and D’Amelio’s comments.
Sample ballots available; dates and deadlines
Sample ballots are available for the Aug. 14 primary, the League of Women Voters of Norwalk said Monday in an email blast, providing a link to the city website.
The league also shared these important dates and deadlines, from the city’s website:
Municipal primary election: Tuesday, Aug. 14. Democratic primary and Republican primary
Absentee ballots for the primary election are available from the Town Clerk. You’ve missed the deadline to switch major parties and vote in the primary, as it was May 14.
If you’re unaffiliated, you can still vote in one of the primaries by joining a major party by noon Aug. 13 – Monday.
2018 State/Federal general election: Nov. 6th
Registration can be done in person, by mail, or on-line.
The last day to register to vote is Oct. 30. Mail to the Registrar’s Office (Room 122, Norwalk City Hall, Norwalk CT, 06851), or register in person by hand-delivery to the Registrars office, the DMV, or voter-registration agency; or register on-line, based on your Connecticut Drivers’ License, using the Secretary of the State’s website.
The Registrar’s office will be open until 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30. If your rights “as to age, citizenship, or residence mature” after Oct. 30, you may apply up to noon Nov. 5.
Also Note: Connecticut law allows for Election Day Registration (EDR), so if you have not registered to vote by the above cut-off dates, it is still possible to come into City Hall on Election Day — between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. Nov. 6 – to register and vote. You must have a valid I.D. and with current proof of Norwalk residency (30 days or less) — and vote at City Hall.
There is no EDR either at regular polling places, or for the primary.
Absentee ballots for the general election will be available from the Town Clerk beginning Oct. 5.
League warns: Primary is not at West Rocks
“For those of you who typically vote at West Rock Middle School, please be aware that the location for the Primary has been moved to All Saints School due to construction at West Rocks,” the League warned.
The school is unavailable due to ongoing remediation work, Democratic Registrar Stuart Wells said recently. Wells noted that the presence of asbestos and PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyl) means there are strict regulations that have to be followed.
“Although the work is being done in parts of the school far from the gym, the whole school is closed,” Wells wrote. “The rules relating to this type of work make it completely illegal for children under 18 to enter the building and 17 year-olds, who will be 18 by Election Day (November 6), are allowed to vote in the primary. Consequently the building cannot be used, even though it might have been possible to get permission for adults over 18 to enter. Additionally, while there would be minimal possibility of exposure to asbestos during the brief time it takes to vote, our poll workers are another matter. They work a 16-hour day.”
The location change is just for the primary, not the general election. District 142C votes at West Rocks, according to a map on the City’s website.
“All Saints is basically next door to West Rocks, so there should be little or no inconvenience to voters,” Wells wrote.