Norwalk election notes: Perone yet to qualify; Camacho, Hargrove trade barbs; Lavielle and Hosten gain endorsements

The election is Nov. 6.

Updated, 1:45 p.m.: Comment from Ed Camacho;  7:33 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – Here’s some election information for you:

  • Perone up against deadline for CEP funds
  • Hargrove: Dems pressuring would be panelists
  • Hosten gains police and fire endorsement
  • Lavielle nabs business support
  • League forums begin Tuesday


Perone has four days to qualify

State Rep. Chris Perone (D-137), who is being challenged for reelection by Republican candidate Frank Page, has not yet qualified for Citizen’s Election Program funds, a State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) official said Monday.

Page qualified on Aug. 15, an official said.  According to his Oct. 10 filing, he received $28,150 in CEP funds on Aug. 21.

“The Citizens’ Election Program is a voluntary program which provides full public financing to qualified candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of the State, Treasurer, Comptroller, or Attorney General (“statewide office”) or for state senator or state representative (‘General Assembly’). The Program, administered by the State Elections Enforcement Commission (the “Commission”), is financed through the Citizens’ Election Fund, a non-lapsing fund that receives most of its funding from the sale of abandoned property in the State of Connecticut’s custody,” the State’s 2018 guide for candidates participating in the program states.

A candidate for State Representative must raise $5,100 from 150 of the District’s constituents, in amounts from $5 to $250, to qualify for funds. The deadline to qualify is Friday.

The earliest that a candidate could have been approved was May 23. The SEEC provided this information regarding other Norwalk candidates and when they qualified for funding:


  • State Rep. Fred Wilms (R-142): May 31
  • State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25): May 31
  • {Working Families Party District 140 State Representative candidate Colin Hosten qualified in May, according to a press release.}
  • Democratic District 140 State Representative candidate Travis Simms: July 25 (for primary; approval for primary means he is also approved for the general)
  • Republican District 140 State Representative candidate John Flynn: No application on record
  • State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143): June 27
  • Republican State Senate candidate Marc D’Amelio: Aug 8
  • Republican District 137 State Representative candidate Frank Page: Aug 15
  • Democratic District 143 State Representative candidate Stephanie Thomas: Aug 22
  • State Rep. Chris Perone (D-137): application pending
  • Democratic District 142 State Representative candidate Lucy Dathan: Aug 29


The deadline for candidates to obtain approval and participate is Oct. 19.




D’Amelio education forum Wednesday

The panel for Wednesday’s “Education in Norwalk” question and answer forum, organized by D’Amelio for Senate, at this point is three people: Board of Education Chairman Mike Barbis, D’Amelio and Wilms.

Darius Williams, a Democrat, was announced as part of the panel last week but backed out that day, citing too many responsibilities to devote his full attention to the topic.

D’Amelio campaign manager Isabelle Hargrove on Monday evening wrote:

“Darius was kind enough to suggest a replacement, but that person was not available either. Some people have told me that the Democrats’ party machine was putting extraordinary pressure on Dems not to participate. Apparently, Senator Duff had even recruited the Lamont campaign to help derail this forum.

“We are flattered although I personally find it very disappointing. It seems that people are more interested in sheltering Senator Duff than exploring ideas to help kids and taxpayers in Norwalk.

“Fortunately, the panel will still consist of the BOE Chair and a House Rep who is a former Norwalk BET chair. We are ready for a robust and substantive discussion.”


“I don’t know of any other Democrat invited to the Marc D’Amelio sponsored event,” Democratic Town Committee Chairman Ed Camacho wrote Tuesday morning. “In fact, I am informed that Lucy Dathan (through her representative) asked to participate and was told that, inasmuch as it was a campaign event, neither she nor Bob Duff were invited. That is presumably why the D’Amelio campaign chose which Democrats it wished to participate, and which it did not. Clearly, the D’Amelio campaign is not ready for the ‘robust and substantive discussion’ it claims.”

Barbis is a Democrat; some say “barely a Democrat.” Wilms is former Board of Estimate and Taxation chairman.

Duff did not respond to an email requesting comment.

The forum begins at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Nathan Hale Middle School.


Hosten nabs endorsement

The Connecticut Police and Fire Union (CPFU) has endorsed Hosten in his WFP bid to replace the retiring State Rep. Bruce Morris (D-140), a press release said.

“I am humbled by this endorsement,” Hosten is quoted as saying Sunday.  “Unions are a backbone of our society. Collective organizing and bargaining are vital not only to our working class, but to the state’s overall economy. Our police officers and first responders deserve elected leaders who embody respect for the rule of law, and who will support their efforts to promote lawfulness and safety in our communities.”

Hosten fell short in a primary challenge to Simms, winning 47.8 percent as a newcomer against the popular Simms.

Republican candidate John Flynn is hoping Simms and Hosten split the Democratic vote and open the door for a Republican in the heavily Democratic district.

“The CPFU represents almost 1,000 law enforcement, firefighting, regulatory, and public safety personnel at over twenty-three agencies throughout Connecticut. An endorsement letter signed by its Chairman William Boucher stated that the union looks forward to supporting Hosten’s efforts as a State legislator,” the release said.


Lavielle endorsed by CBIA

The Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) has endorsed State Representative Gail Lavielle, according to a press release.  Lavielle, a Republican, is being challenged by Democrat Stephanie Thomas.

“In your time in the legislature, you have shown a strong commitment to promoting an environment where companies can compete, attract much-needed investment to our state, and drive economic growth and job creation,” Joseph F. Brennan, CBIA President and CEO, is quoted as saying in a letter to Lavielle dated October 8. “We appreciate your willingness to work with the business community and look forward to working together over the next two years to reduce the size and cost of government, make Connecticut more affordable, and make this an even better state to live, work, and raise a family.”

CBIA is Connecticut’s largest business organization and describes itself on its website as “the leading voice for business in the state, representing thousands of member companies, small and large, across a diverse range of industries.”

“To restore our economy and make Connecticut competitive as a place to do business, we must listen to business owners and executives who tell us that what they need most to grow and create jobs are a reduction in their ongoing structural costs, and, above all, consistent, reliable tax and regulatory policy,” Lavielle is quoted as saying. “Economic development policies that are based primarily on singling out individual companies for one-time giveaways have dismissed that feedback. We must help all businesses – not just a few – thrive by creating a climate that gives them confidence that Connecticut is a place where they can invest and make long-term business plans. CBIA shares these goals, and I am grateful for its endorsement and its strong advocacy for Connecticut’s business community.”

In addition to CBIA, Lavielle has been endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and the Connecticut REALTORS, the release said.


Lavielle/Thomas League forum Tuesday; other forums coming up

Lavielle and Thomas are set to meet Tuesday in a League of Women Voters forum, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Wilton Library, located at 137 Old Ridgefield Road in Wilton.

Other forums are:

  • Oct 21: U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-Greenwich) and his Republican challenger, Harry Arora, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Wilton High School, located at 385 Danbury Road in Wilton
  • Oct. 22: State Rep. Fred Wilms (R-142) and his Democratic challenger, Lucy Dathan, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the New Canaan Town Hall Meeting Room, located at 77 Main St. in New Canaan
  • Oct. 25: State Rep. Chris Perone (D-137) and his Republican challenger, Frank Page, from 7 to 7:45 p.m. in the Norwalk City Hall community room, located at 125 East Ave.
  • Oct. 25: State Sen. Bob Duff (D-25) and his Republican challenger, Marc D’Amelio, from 8 to 9 p.m. in the Norwalk City Hall community room, located at 125 East Ave.


Lisa Brinton Thomson October 16, 2018 at 2:32 pm

Just to set the record straight for Mr. Camacho, who I am sure did not mean to transmit incorrect information 🙂

I was contacted via text by Lucy Dathans campaign manager on October 9th @ 6.07 pm. Below is the text in its entirety:

“Hi Lisa.
I saw that you are moderating a Q&A education forum with Fred Will and Marc D’Amelio. I am Lucy Dathans campaign manager, who is running against Fred Wilms. Can I get Lucy on the panel? If the event is nonpartisan then you should have the opponent’s of every candidate on the panel? Especially when you have MarcD’Amelio there, who is just candidate.”

My response:

“Hi, This has been organized by the D’Amelio campaign. You can reach out to Isabelle, his campaign manager as she is organizing all of this. I will forward you her contact! Lisa”

I forwarded Isabelle’s contact info.

“That makes sense. I had incorrect information about the event. Thanks so much for letting me know!”

“Sorry…and you are welcome:)”

As of last night when I spoke to Isabelle, she had not been contacted by the Dathan campaign.

I will also forward screen shots of this SMS exchange to NON!

Isabelle Hargrove October 16, 2018 at 2:50 pm

As I had previously stated, the Lucy Dathan campaign never reached out to me as the campaign manager or anyone else on the D’Amelio campaign. Mr. Camacho is grossly misinformed.

Reading the text conversation between Lisa Brinton and Ms. Dathan’s campaign manager, it appears that after realizing this was not a candidate forum, they did not see it appropriate to attend and did not pursue the matter further.

I am also quite certain that Senator Duff had no interest in crashing Marc’s event. Furthermore, as a comparison, I don’t believe Marc is invited to help serve ice cream or pasta with Bob Duff during one of his social events held during campaign season.

Each candidate is free to choose how they interact with the public. Marc is a problem solver with a genuine desire to work with others and use his ideas and skill set to make a difference. Regardless of party affiliation, the panel was assembled because Mr. Barbis and Mr. Wilms are valuable experts and share Marc’s desire to find common ground and solutions to an unresolved State issue that shortchanges Norwalk.

Let’s focus on the issues.

John Levin October 16, 2018 at 5:52 pm

Forums, debates, panels, discussions, and public appearances all are good. Why aren’t there more?

Isabelle Hargrove October 17, 2018 at 9:46 am

Pros&Cons – The Education Forum tonight at Nathan Hale is sponsored by the D’Amelio for Senate campaign. We have already issued a check for $150 for the use of the facility in accordance to the fee schedule issued by NPS.

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