Norwalk election notes: Thomas/Lavielle; absentee ballots available

The election is Nov. 6.

Updated, 11:25 a.m.: additional information, Gail Lavielle is Gun Sense candidate;  7:14 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – Some election items for you:

  • Thomas-Lavielle set to debate again Oct. 29
  • Thomas ‘endorsed’ by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense
  • Absentee ballots available


A Westport League event added to schedule

State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143) and her Democratic challenger Stephanie Thomas are set to discuss the issues again on Oct. 29 in a League of Women Voters event to be held from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Westport Town Hall, according to WestportNow.

Lavielle and Thomas will be on stage with District 26 State Senate candidates Toni Boucher (R) and Will Haskell (D), District 28 State Senate candidates Tony Hwang (R) and Michelle McCabe (D) and District 136 State Representative candidates Greg Kraut (R) and Jonathan Steinberg (D), WestportNow reports.

District 143 is comprised of parts of Norwalk and Westport, and most of Wilton. Lavielle and Thomas have already been in one League event, held in Wilton.

The next Norwalk League candidates forum is on Thursday, with State Rep. Chris Perone (D-137) and his Republican challenger, Frank Page, sparring from 7 to 7:45 p.m. and State Sen. Bob Duff (D-25) and his Republican challenger, Marc D’Amelio, taking the spotlight from 8 to 9 p.m. That’s in the City Hall community room, located at 125 East Ave.

The Westport League is inviting Westport residents to email questions for their Sunday event to [email protected]

Maybe you can sneak a question in, too.




‘Standing up for gun violence prevention”

Thomas has been endorsed by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, according to a Tuesday press release. Lavielle also has the “candidate of distinction” recognition, Norwalk Republican campaign worker Rick Joslyn said Wednesday.

“We are happy to inform you that your campaign has been given the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate distinction. Thank you again for standing up for gun violence prevention and recognizing gun safety,” Norma Rahall of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense is quoted  in a press release as writing to Thomas.

The Thomas press release was titled, “Stephanie Thomas Endorsed by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.”

Joslyn pointed out that the Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America website states, “The Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate distinction is separate from any formal Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund endorsement, and intended to demonstrate political will for gun violence prevention. Multiple candidates in a race can receive the distinction and, just like common-sense gun safety, the distinction is non-partisan.”

“Respecting the policy of the organization, the Lavielle campaign has been careful not to call this distinction an endorsement, because Moms Demand Action, unlike its founding organization, Everytown for Gun Safety, does not offer formal endorsements of candidates,” Joslyn wrote. “Instead, they recognize candidates who have pledged to support gun safety measures. Rep. Lavielle is proud to have received the Moms Demand Action gun sense candidate distinction.”

“Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is a grassroots movement of Americans fighting for new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws and loopholes,” the Thomas release explains. “Since its inception after the tragedy at Sandy Hook School, Moms Demand Action has established a chapter in every state of the country and, along with Mayors Against Illegal Guns and the Everytown Survivor Network, is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with more than four million supporters.”

“I thank Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense for their work on this important public safety issue,” Thomas is quoted as saying. “Like many Connecticut residents, the gun violence that surrounds us feels personal to me.  When I go to public places, I find myself searching for the emergency exit…just in case.  Numerous people on the campaign trail share this fear – for themselves and for their children.  We must work to make Connecticut’s gun laws stronger by bringing everyone to the table to create common sense solutions that protect us all.”



Come get your absentee ballots

The Town Clerk’s office is issuing absentee ballots ahead of the Nov. 6 election, with nearly 1,000 handed out as of Tuesday, according to a press release.

“Applications for absentee ballots may be requested by mail, phone, in person at the Town Clerk’s office or online from the Connecticut Secretary of State. Applications are available in English and Spanish. In an effort to accommodate residents, the Town Clerk’s office will be open special hours on Saturday, November 3, from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.,” the release said.

“I encourage all Norwalk residents to cast a ballot on November 6. For those who will not be able to make it to the polls there is still time to request an absentee ballot,” said Mayor Harry Rilling is quoted as saying. “Participating in democracy is a right that separates our great country from many others. Please let your voice be heard on Election Day.”

The release explains:

“A resident can request an absentee ballot for any of the following reasons: active service in the U.S. armed forces; absence from town during all the hours of voting; illness; physical disability; religious beliefs prevent secular activity on that day; required performance of duties as an election official at a polling place other than your own during all the hours of that day. Residents are advised that voting by absentee ballot if they are not eligible to do so for one of these six reasons can subject them to civil and criminal penalties.

“If an elector has incurred an illness or physical disability within six days of an election, they may apply for an Emergency Absentee Ballot. They will be able to designate someone to deliver the ballot to them and return it to the Town Clerk. If someone has a permanent disability, they may be eligible to apply for a permanent absentee ballot.

“The Norwalk Town Clerk’s office is located at Norwalk City Hall Room 102, 125 East Ave., Norwalk, Conn. 06851. The office is open Monday-Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.; and Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

“For more information, call the Town Clerk’s office at (203) 854-7747 or visit norwalkct.org.”


Susan Wallerstein October 24, 2018 at 8:18 am

I’ve felt mostly disenfranchised ever since the legislature attached my Norwalk neighborhood to Wilton, adding a slice of Westport to create the 143rd district. I want Stephanie Thomas to represent me because she understands complex issues, brings a fresh look to tough problems, and as a business woman – pays attention to the bottom line. Walking door to door with Stephanie made me feel positive about our future.

Stephanie Thomas October 29, 2018 at 4:31 pm

Good catch! As a person who pays attention to detail, I appreciate the concern from the writer over my use of the term “endorsement” over “candidate of distinction” in announcing my support from Moms Demand Action. Obviously I had no intention of defrauding the public since the quote I used even notes the term distinction, however, I do apologize for the error. Given the tragedy at The Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, I know that semantics will not solve our problems with gun violence. Whether endorsed or a candidate of distinction, I vow to work towards a world where we can worship, study, shop, work, eat and live without fear of gun violence.

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