Updated, Nov. 8: Judge of probate info from SEEC; Updated, 7:12 a.m.: Copy edits
NORWALK, Conn. – According to Tuesday’s vote totals, Norwalk voters have not had enough of State Sen. Bob Duff.
Norwalk Democrats on Tuesday evening celebrated what they described as a near-sweep in local politics, declaring newcomer Lucy Dathan the victor over State Rep. Fred Wilms (R-142), Doug Stern the winner in the Judge of Probate race against former State Rep. Larry Cafero, and celebrating Duff’s decisive victory over Republican candidate Marc D’Amelio, whose campaign slogan was “Enough Duff.”
Video by Harold Cobin at end of story
The Secretary of State’s website at 4 a.m. confirmed those results but showed that State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143) has held onto her seat, fending off Democratic challenger Stephanie Thomas with 51.5 percent of the vote. Thomas won more Norwalk votes than Lavielle, according to the tally released by Democratic Registrar Stuart Wells.
It was the second election in a row in which Dems came out on top in nearly every Norwalk race.
In District 140, Common Council member Travis Simms KO’d his competition, winning 69.95 percent of the vote to become the successor to State Rep. Bruce Morris. State Rep. Chris Perone (D-137) easily won reelection in his race against Republican challenger Frank Page.
The SEEC website shows:
- Bob Duff: 63.1 percent, with 24,437 votes (23,624 as a Democrat and 813 on the Working Families Party line)
- Marc D’Amelio: 36.8 percent, with 14,256 votes (13,622 as a Republican and 634 as an Independent Party candidate)
- Lucy Dathan: 54.5 percent, with 5,991 votes (5,788 as a Democrat and 203 as a Working Families Party candidate)
- Fred Wilms: 45.4 percent, with 4,993 votes (4,794 as a Republican and 199 as an Independent Party candidate)
- Gail Lavielle: 51.54 percent, with 6,085 votes (5,824 as a Republican and 261 as an Independent Party candidate)
- Stephanie Thomas: 48.45 percent, with 5,721 votes (5,574 as a Democrat and 147 as a Working Families Party candidate)
Judge of Probate:
- Doug Stern: 56.86 percent, with 23,179 votes
- Larry Cafero: 43.44 percent, with 17,564 votes (16,553 as a Republican and 1,031 as an Independent Party candidate)
Wells relayed Norwalk tallies:
- Bob Duff: 21,636 votes (20,877 as a Democrat and 759 on the Working Families Party line)
- Marc D’Amelio: 10,570 votes (10,034 as a Republican and 536 as an Independent Party candidate)
- Chris Perone: 69 percent, with 6,323 votes (6,076 as a Democrat and 247 on the Working Families Party line)
- Frank Page: 31 percent, with 2,798 votes (2,662 as a Republican and 136 as an Independent Party candidate)
- Travis Simms: 3,844 votes (Democrat)
- John Flynn: 1,072 (974 as a Republican and 98 as an Independent Party candidate)
- Colin Hosten: 579 votes (Working Families Party)
- Terrie Wood: 1,874 (1,483 as a Republican and 391 as an Independent Party candidate)
- Lucy Dathan: 56.85 percent, with 5,335 votes (5,142 as a Democrat and 193 as a Working Families Party candidate)
- Fred Wilms: 43.1 percent, with 4,048 votes (3,875 as a Republican and 173 as an Independent Party candidate)
- Stephanie Thomas: 52 percent, with 2,563 votes (2,481 as a Democrat and 82 as a Working Families Party candidate)
- Gail Lavielle: 48 percent, with 2,366 votes (2,272 as a Republican and 94 as an Independent Party candidate)
(Lavielle is the winner)
Judge of Probate
- Doug Stern: 58.6 percent, with 18,540 votes (Democrat)
- Larry Cafero: 41.4 percent, with 13,100 votes (12,293 as a Republican and 807 as an Independent Party candidate)
Duff celebrates latest victory
“We are going to continue to move our State forward,” Duff said to Norwalk Democrats in the Norwalk Inn, after he had been declared victor. “For two years, for four years, for six years, for eight years, I have heard nothing from the other side except negativity. They have been rooting for failure for this state for way too long. It is now time to say we are no longer doing that, we are going to move our State forward, we are going to grow our tax base and we are going to make sure that we fight for the things, and the values, we continue to do that for the middle class. ”
Norwalk Republicans met at The SoNo Ice House. NancyOnNorwalk had planned to report on those proceedings but was told to leave by Republican Town Committee Chairman Mark Suda. Commentary from the Republican party comes to you here courtesy of The Hour.
“I don’t know whether the results are going to indicate it, but I think people in Norwalk are concerned,” D’Amelio said early in the evening. “There’s a lot of people that want some change, and that’s what this campaign was all about.”
D’Amelio went from poll to poll on Election Day, posting videos on his Facebook page. Duff stationed himself at Roton Middle School, campaign manager Mary Pugh said.
Duff, who has held the seat since 2005, on Tuesday evening said Democrats had won a “very resounding victory” with their positive campaigning and Democratic values.
“Two years ago this country woke up after the last election and took a new spirit, a new direction, and people said enough is enough. People who were never involved before are now part of the political process and because of that, we will have a new Democratic majority up in Hartford,” Duff said.
“Some of the races we felt were slam dunks for the Republicans, were nowhere near slam dunks for the Republicans,” Mayor Harry Rilling said.
D’Amelio had not, at 10:30 p.m., called Duff to concede, Pugh said.
“This is so amazing, I never thought a little kid from Roodner Court housing projects here in Norwalk would have the opportunity to not only become a world champion boxer but to also stand here as a state representative for the 140th District,” Simms said, addressing Democrats.
“I believe this position was a calling for me,” Simms said, thanking Morris.
“I heartily congratulate Travis,” Hosten said to NancyOnNorwalk. “I think what we were able to do was a net benefit for our district, where safe districting has created complacency for a long time. So we were able to ignite a real conversation.”
Duff told Democrats that both District 25 and District 142 had been gerrymandered to be Republican, but Dathan had knocked on 5,000 doors on her way to clobbering Wilms, who was seeking a third two-year term.
“I can’t believe we did it. This seat has never been held by a Dem,” Dathan said.
“When I woke up after Trump won, I knew I had to do something,” Dathan said, describing herself as a political novice. “Many times you feel like you’re the crazy one to think that you have a chance for making a difference… I just can’t believe I’m here tonight.”
Perone promised to continue working on transportation infrastructure, transit oriented development, education, healthcare and affordable housing.
“Some people who got beat on the other side, I don’t think would have been beaten in the past,” he said. “It’s not even so much to do with a wave. It’s really just that they are really looking at value people are bringing to the party, to the table.”
Judge of Probate
“I am very proud, very grateful to all the citizens of Norwalk and Wilton. Everyone worked very hard, it was a team effort,” Stern said to NancyOnNorwalk, late in the evening.
Cafero, at The SoNo Ice House, told Republicans that they need to do some soul searching.
“When one of our own – whomever that might be – strays the line, we have to call ourselves out in that,” Cafero said. “If we are internally uncomfortable with something that has nothing to do with finances, has nothing to do with smaller government, but might in our heart of hearts feel like it’s rude, inappropriate, cruel or mean, let’s do the right thing and call them out. Whether it’s the President of the United States or someone in our little town Council.”
This story includes reporting by Pat Tomlinson, Hearst Connecticut.