Dathan unseats Wilms; Duff cruises to reelection, Simms and Stern take new roles

State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25), at lectern, leads Tuesday’s Democratic Party Election Night celebration in the Norwalk Inn.

The aftermath.

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:

District 25

  • 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)


District 142

  • 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)


District 143

  • 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:

District 25:

  • 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)


District 137:

  • 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)


District 140:

  • 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)


District 141

  • Terrie Wood: 1,874 (1,483 as a Republican and 391 as an Independent Party candidate)


District 142:

  • 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)


District 143

  • 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.


State Representatives

“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.

Common Council member Travis Simms (D-District B) speaks to Norwalk Democrats on Tuesday in the Norwalk Inn, after winning election as State Representative.

“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.

State Representative-elect Lucy Dathan gets a quick hug from State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25), Tuesday in the Norwalk Inn.

“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.


Alan November 7, 2018 at 8:30 am

“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.”

Really?!!! Us there any wonder people like Duff remain in office with this kind of behavior?
Now…get ready, with Duff’s help, for Malloy’s third term!

Jeff November 7, 2018 at 8:39 am

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.

What was that about?

Former Norwalker November 7, 2018 at 8:58 am

Larry, you walk a fine line. Comparing the behavior of someone in your little town council with the vile person occupying the Oval Office. So, go ahead and lay it on the line if you’re not just pandering for what few votes are left that the Big D hasn’t totally alienated. Or are you just learning to dog whistle?

Claire Schoen November 7, 2018 at 9:25 am

Now that it’s over, let’s all sit down over a slice of pizza — share some casual and civil conversations about our town –

Join Nancy on Norwalk and her team at Fat Cat Pizza TOMORROW evening, Thursday Nov. 8 – 6:30 to 9:30.

Civility. Community-building. Cya there!

David T McCarthy November 7, 2018 at 10:27 am

The Connecticut Voter has spoken, and they said “Orange man bad, so let’s burn down our state”

Good luck to all of you…I get happier every day. Come down, I have a great realtor I can introduce you to.

John O'Neill November 7, 2018 at 10:33 am

Let me see if I have this straight — The Democrats have controlled the purse strings of Connecticut for 40 years. During that time, the great state of Connecticut has become a fiscal disaster. So what do we do? We elect the same people to do the same job for the foreseeable future. I find that baffling. Lucy Dathan and Will Haskell claim to bring a “fresh” set of eyes to the process. I’m predicting they will vote with old line Democrats on 100% of issues. How is that “fresh”? I am proud to have raised our family in Norwalk. Of the 5,000 doors Lucy knocked on, mine sadly was not one of those. Guessing the walk down the driveway may have been too long. It will not be long before Ned Lamont laments about the state being in worse shape than he expected and our state taxes will rise more than expected. Tolls will be up before we know it. The next issue will be drop in State money sent back to Norwalk, and our property taxes will increase. That being said, I do like the idea of regionalization. Let’s combine school districts!!..I’m sure the more liberal voters of Westport and Weston will welcome Norwalk Students with open arms. It’s the right thing to do..

Wineshine November 7, 2018 at 1:47 pm

John, only more baffling is the statement by the re-elected incumbent state senator who says, “we’re going to continue to move the state forward”. Somebody needs a windsock.

Peter Franz November 7, 2018 at 1:56 pm

The people have indeed spoken, and they clearly found the Republican answers to the important questions of our time: lacking.

People suggest there’s a difference between local and national politics. Indeed there is, but throwing out Nancy (the free press) from your election night event, is a tragic example of local officials’ mimicking the current administration’s phobia of transparency and accountability.

Bryan Meek November 7, 2018 at 5:07 pm

Ok, now that the election is over can the Governor release the current pension actuarial valuation’s they’ve been sitting on as well as next year’s insurance costs? Is the deficit $5 billion or a lot more? Will the necessary 15% tax hike be on individuals, businesses, property, tolls, all of the above?

Ken November 7, 2018 at 5:21 pm

Can’t stop laughing at all the Republicans and the anger. Give it up the best party won. Next in 2 years the White House, unless Trump gets himself impeached before that.

Rusty Guardrail November 7, 2018 at 7:09 pm

Having taken power in DC by outspending Democrats 100 to 1 in previous STATE elections, the reactionary right wing has been destroying America’s values while showing 100% support for an immoral criminal president. The majority of CT voters won’t stand for what is evil and wrong.
Taxes are GOOD if the money is properly allocated for things that we need. We must demand transparency and accountability from elected officials in DC, Hartford, and Norwalk.

Bryan Meek November 7, 2018 at 9:13 pm

Well guardrail. Our taxes just went to bonuses and raises for an enterprise that has delivered year after year of deficits and credit downgrades and a real estate market that has never recovered. Oh and let’s not forget suits, fancy meals and vacations in New Haven where you are now allowed to register to vote and vote after the polls are closed. Donald Trump sails off in his yacht while our dinghy has a hole in it and is sinking. We sure showed him.

I’m willing to give Ned Lamont a shot, but honestly I pray to God he has called United Technologies and begged them to stay. Sikorski losing contracts left and right thanks to big mouth Blumenthal is a small scratch compared to UTC leaving. If we lose them, the death spiral will be unstoppable.

Ron Morris November 7, 2018 at 9:32 pm


I see that you are doubling down on the fake news now that your boy Marc has lost and lost big time. Thank God..

Mike Mushak November 7, 2018 at 9:37 pm

I am humbled to my core by standing in the cold rain for 14 hours on election day to support someone who lost, Colin Hosten, who was not only a great candidate with a strong message of equal justice and opportunity for everyone, but he is also a friend.

I also know that this is democracy in action, and that there will be winners and losers. And I know the winner in my district, Travis Simms, was made a better candidate in this long process, and has heard a lot from his constituents that EVERYONE wants to be represented equally here, something that I know was missing in our diverse district for a very long time.

Yes, the 140th District truly is a rainbow coalition of Black, Latino, White, Asian, Native-born, Immigrant, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist, Liberal, Conservative, Straight, Gay, Wealthy, Poor, and everything in between!

We have to move beyond any false idea that we are only “one of the above”. My husband David and I became lifetime members of the awesome NAACP when they endorsed marriage equality, but I sometimes wonder if that message has resonated fully to all members. Certainly our last representative didn’t get that message, using his religion as an excuse to oppose civil rights to some Americans in a similar way religion was used by racists in earlier times to support segregation and even slavery. That is one of the reasons why he is no longer our representative.

I congratulate all the winners on both sides of the aisle, but this time I especially stand in solidarity with all the losers in this election who all worked their hearts out, put everything into it, and yet came up short but showed real class when hit with the results.

We all know we did our best with our support, and we all know we are all winners in the end, for trying to make the world and our communities a better place by participating in the process. That is how I fell asleep last night after nearly 24 hours on my feet, and I hope all the candidates who lost, and their supporters, felt the same after working so hard for what they believed in.

As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is threat to justice everywhere.” He also said “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” These truly are words David and I live by, for better or worse or whether we win or lose.

So now the hard work begins, in healing, problem-solving, and working together for a better life filled with opportunity for everyone here now and far into the future.

Elisabeth November 8, 2018 at 7:56 am

It is very telling how quickly D’Amelio’s camp quieted down once they lost. Across the county many midterm results were close and in this case, Duff won by a landslide. I hope this is a lesson to the Norwalk Republicans that people may be listening to you, but your approach was misguided from the start. Kindness clearly matters, as the results have shown in Norwalk.

Congratulations to Bob Duff on your re-election!

Rusty Guardrail November 8, 2018 at 9:20 am

Massive voter suppression flourishes throughout the southern states since the Supreme Court rescinded key provisions of the Civil Rights Act. There will be no fairness until those provisions are reinstated.

Mary Pugh November 8, 2018 at 10:30 am

Thanks also for all the Bob supporters who did NOT respond to attacks during the campaign.
We appreciate your concern but as you all know (by now) responding just feeds those {…}

We have the smartest, well educated and kind supporters….. who remember as Emma says “Kindness Comes Back to YOU” love seeing those car magnets…. what a helpful and great group…. could not ask for better supporters.

Edited to remove an insult, a violation of the comment policy. https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/comment-guidelines/

John E. Tobin November 8, 2018 at 11:29 am

…..responding just feeds those {…}

Kindness Comes Back to YOU” ……….Edited to remove an insult, a violation of the comment policy

Lisa Brinton Thomson November 8, 2018 at 12:46 pm

Elisabeth – many of us who supported Marc’s campaign are exhausted and recharging our batteries after poll standing on Tuesday. That’s all. While Bob’s Norwalk High school governance service is appreciated – we really could use more help up in Hartford. The 2019-20 budget is going to be a doozy! I also hope Lucy remembers she also represents Norwalk and not just her friends in New Canaan. Losing Fred and his intimate knowledge of BOE finances is a HUGE, HUGE loss for Norwalk’s parents and kids.

Bob Partisan November 8, 2018 at 3:58 pm

It’s unfortunate that the Norwalk RTC could not garner enough support for the likes of Fred Wilms, Toni Boucher and Larry Cafero. It was obvious to anyone with half a brain that Marc Damelio was overmatched. Hopefully Marc realizes he was just a pawn for the party so desperate for candidates your only qualification seems to be an “R” next to your name. He’s a good guy that got hung out to dry.

As Larry Cafero mentioned, the Norwalk RTC needs to do some soul searching. If thats the term to use for getting someone to head the party that can truly lead Republicans then so be it. Why they kept Mark Suda at the helm after a disastrous 2017 election is beyond comprehension.

It would have been nice if this election left us with a balance of winners from each party. Single party rule, in either party direction, will not be good for local or state level politics.

Bob Partisan November 8, 2018 at 4:07 pm

Sorry… I forgot that 26th Senate District doesn’t include Norwalk so supporting Toni Boucher would be irrelevant.

Bob Partisan November 8, 2018 at 4:39 pm

Apologies… I forgot that Victor Cavallo was the previous head of the RTC.
My concern has more to do with the Party putting up folks with little to no political experience to be the voice and direction of the entire party. I guess they voted for him so it is the will of the town committee.

It’s just a shame because there are some extremely smart people and great candidates within the party.

John J. Flynn November 8, 2018 at 6:32 pm

By the way I won. I helped hundreds of Democrats as the Independent with the Republican endorsement. I worked with the disabled, which I will never stop doing. I worked for the wonderful people in Washington Village, who voted for me. I never even told them I was running. Went to Columbus, I endured a long day of abuse. A “Vote for Flynn is a vote for Trump” all day long by a narcissist, who only loves himself. I begged everyone to Vote for Hosten over Travesty a for months. I will tell you who lost. The City of Norwlak Lost, big time. Simms’s own relative agrees. I single handedly brought attention to the stone crushing on Meadow and Woodward. The Champion of Norwlak has never done anything. I publish about the Walk Bridge, which will cause the Bankruptcy of SONO, the 140 by 6/30/20. I talked endlessly about the corruption of Norwalk upon deaf ears. The news papers, no comment. I Made many friends, at least 4,000. Yes, I won. If the Mall doesn’t kill us the Walk Bridge will. I got my message out. The problems in the 140 are being paid for by the 143, 142, 141, 137 etc. Cafaro is 1,000 times better than Stern. Page is 500 hundred of times better than Perrone. I maintain that I am perfectly suited for three reasons for the State Rep position in the 140. My finance background, my legal background as a very active Pro-se litigator, and my pursuit for justice. I fought for equal protection under the law alone, I fought for due process, and I walked the Walk Bridge Walk by myself to raise awareness for the people about to be carried out (when 300 Norwalk Businesses fail over the next 6 years).

Not a single person will be helped by Travis Simms. He is not capable of recognizing discrimination, which is pervasive. He is only out for himself. From the “Hood for the Hood”. When my youngest son graduates Norwalk High with straight A’s in the NECA program, I will be free to leave this Hell Whole I call my home, next to Firetree. I sued Firetree and the City for valid reasons, the Judges are corrupt. I sued the city for Police misconduct. I have some very interesting cases under my belt. I hope I can help the 81 kids with asthma I discovered. There are 13 on Quintard Ave alone. I hope I can get compensation from the Ct-DOT for the Walk Bridge victims.

No one understands me. I have ethics. I seem to be the only one. The State is bankrupt. Norwalk is nearly Bankrupt, and this blue wave election will just expedite the misery. Anyone could do better than Duff. Himes will be harder to chip away at. I am all in. I am a strategist and I will persevere.

The Judges appointed by Malloy are to blame. DCF has serious problems. Housing is horrific. The POCD is a joke. The Health Department is a cover-up agency. {…} Hey, if you can’t beat them join them. Maybe I’ll switch. The Latino population is totally getting screwed in Norwalk. The Detective Bureau lies all day long. I must say the worst thing in Norwalk is the legal department. {…} I don’t like that. McCann, and Camacho are {…} Rilling retired a long time ago. Who is sailing this ship of fools? The people can’t recognize the problems, so they will never figure out the solutions. My slogan was “Help me Help you”. Do I have fix this City by myself? People called today and apologized for Voting for Travesty.

How and why did the Democrats endorse Travesty for a position he can’t possibly handle. Fred Wilms saved Norwalk last year. They voted out one of the actual Champions of Norwalk. I challenged Travesty and Colin to debate, they refused. I took it to Facebook. Neither opponent has ever accomplished anything important.

The Norwalk Detective Bureau has {…} the largest check fraud case in CT history. The Mayor said multiple times the Detectives were investigating. That’s funny, they testified in 2017, that they never looked at the file of evidence I gave them. 300,000 felonies occurred. {…}

I am not down or out. I am figuring a lot of things out. Hundreds of people have thanked me. Everywhere I go people say your “that guy”. A woman on the street walked up to me and asked. “Do you know that guy with the big signs”. I said it was me why? She explained all her problems with Monterey Village. 4 people are complaining about Vesta and Cedar Court. Many people have complained about the same three police officers. The junkies and violent are competing for limted housing with the disabled. I filed 17 unanswered Foi requests since I moved to Norwalk. I filed 6 unanswered Police Complaints since I moved to Norwalk.

I started calling the City Gotham City last. Lots of criminals, a few super heros. I get 200 e-mails a day. I will give them Travesty’s phone number and e-mail.

Flynn 2020; What is the new normal? Its not me. There is no place for false arrest. There is no place for illegal search and seizure.

God has a plan. I am not supposed to be State Rep of the 140 right now. The future may not be so bright. The rainy day fund? It could be raining cats,dogs, donkeys, and elephants. I don’t want to have to tell you that I told you so, the Walk Bridge is going to kill us.

Edited to remove ascribing of motives, insults, and unsubstantiated allegations of criminal behavior. https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/comment-guidelines/

Rick November 8, 2018 at 6:41 pm

Never understood after each election you have people laughing smiling and back slapping, while those who voted are so pleased that the state has a total $36.9 billion in bonded debt, which equals $10,310 for every Connecticut resident.

Makes you wonder if some voters actually understand the mess they are in.

If the millions used in each election went to the debt caused by those elected each year, would we still need as many politicians ?

attacks of facts

taxpayers and children lost.

Tolls taxes and parking fines have not gone away.

What is left to smile about?

Oh that’s right Trump is still president some may say.

People living in squalor, mold, rat infested living conditions cold living out of cars all over the world there isn’t much to cheer about other than our election.

Shame of it all those living conditions are also in Norwalk, its not the same Democratic party i grew up with nor does Ct set the example.

Mike those lost. lost long before the elections in 140th District made up of the coalition and more. There is no division to those who are losing.

Healing, problem-solving, and working together have failed so many under the two party system in Norwalk now I agree its time to start again and not forget those who were already forgotten.

I just don’t see it with Duff.

Clearly with the incident tonight on the green, Norwalk has a long ways to go it will be interesting to see how the press reports or ignores tonight.

Lisa Brinton Thomson November 8, 2018 at 7:26 pm

@ Teacher – I think there was a typo in your comment. Were you asking if I was going to run for STATE office? If that was your question, the answer is no 🙂

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