Updated, 7:48 a.m.: Copy edits
NORWALK, Conn. – Here’s some Norwalk political notes for you:
- Brinton makes a pitch to Republicans
- Mushak notes redistricting that puts Hosten in E
- Wells talks voter turnout
Brinton addresses Republican Town Committee meeting
“It’s too early to speculate on endorsements,” unaffiliated mayoral candidate Lisa Brinton wrote on Dec. 3, the day she publicly announced her candidacy. But a week before filing paperwork at the Town Clerk’s office, Brinton attended the Nov. 26 Republican Town Committee meeting to tell them about her plans to run. She also told RTC members that she had “re-registered as an independent,” she wrote in a Dec. 11 e-mail to NancyOnNorwalk.
Republican District D Vice-Chair Kelly Straniti, who ran for Mayor in 2015 and was at the RTC meeting where Brinton spoke, recently told NancyOnNorwalk she “wouldn’t be surprised” if a Republican candidate steps forward in January or February. If that happens, Republicans will need to decide whether to support Brinton, as some want to, or a registered Republican. Republican activist and Board of Education member Bryan Meek is acting as Brinton’s campaign treasurer.
Brinton sought the Republican endorsement during her unsuccessful 2017 run as an unaffiliated candidate. The party considered endorsing her, but ultimately did not, and some prominent Republicans publicly abandoned the party’s endorsed candidate, Andy Conroy, in favor of Brinton. Mayor Harry Rilling, a Democrat, won that race with 56 percent of the vote; Brinton came in second with 22.4 percent, and Conroy came in third with 15.2 percent. Petitioning Democratic candidate Bruce Morris took 6.3 percent.
During the 2018 campaign Brinton supported Republican State Senate candidate Marc D’Amelio and changed her registration from unaffiliated to Republican. She said the short-lived switch was to vote in the state’s Republican gubernatorial primary.
Geographically, Colin Hosten lives “in what is always considered South Norwalk even though redistricting put that in District E,” Mike Mushak said at the Dec. 3 District B Democrats meeting. “I don’t think of Colin as a Rowayton resident and I don’t think the people of Village Creek think of themselves as Rowayton residents, or District E.”
The District E lines isolate Village Creek from other voters, as it’s impossible for them to drive to District E without driving through B. Wilson Point, which is across the water, is also in E and borders on District B2.
Mushak commented that some South Norwalk voters are expected to cast ballots at Marvin Elementary School during state elections.
“That was done 20 years ago,” District B Chairman Bobby Burgess said. “Otha Brown was our state representative and a lot of people thought he had too much power. So, he lived in Shorefront Park so that’s where the line was cut off. He had to vote in East Norwalk.”
Local voter turnout was up anywhere between 133 percent to 180 percent, when you compare this year’s election to the last non-Presidential election in 2014.
NancyOnNorwalk’s research shows that 2018 was up over 2014 by:
- District 25: 146 percent
- District 137: 156 percent
- District 140: 182 percent
- District 141: 137 percent
- District 142: 141 percent
- District 143: 122 percent
That huge number in District 140 reflects a hot race, with Travis Simms running against two competitors to become State Representative this year, versus 2014 when State Rep. Bruce Morris ran unopposed for reelection.
Democratic Registrar Stuart Wells said:
Here is a list of Connecticut’s 6 largest cities, listed by number of registered voters. Note that Norwalk, is fifth on this list and third in total voter turnout (second in percentage). These are all the cities with over 50,000 registered voters. Danbury and West Hartford have just under 41,000 registered and everyone else has less than 40,000. Many of the smaller municipalities have a higher turnout percentage – mostly because their populations include a lower percentage of apartment dwellers and a higher percentage of home owners than the major cities. Apartment dwellers are generally younger and move around a lot compared to home owners. Younger citizens do not vote in the same percentage as older citizens and it takes a while for us to catch up to them when they have moved out of town. Consequently their numbers are over-counted in the voter base. Both these factors make the overall turnout percentage lower for the larger cities.