I’m a Republican now, and glad of it

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Attorney and former NAACP head Darnell Crosland recently changed his party registration to Republican, and has filed papers to run for Mayor.

My time thus far as a Republican has been great.  Do I always feel at home?  The answer is no.  But I rather honestly not feel at home around real people than around folks who are just smiling in my face but really are not welcoming.

The party has been honest, and that honesty even extends to some of the members taking a little more time to come to grips with the fact that I am now a part of the party.

But there is no turning back for me.  What I have enjoyed mostly is the idea that there are so many leaders in the party, so many free thinkers.  This does have its drawbacks.  Unlike the Democrats who follow the few, the so-called leadership, Ed, Harry and Bob Duff, and march to the beat of whatever record those three play, it’s not so in the Republican Party.

These people will argue a point to no end.  They will analyze issues, and continue to fight to find a solution.

That’s why they are open to new people and new ideas.

What was really refreshing was the night I first spoke to the party at the RTC meeting.  Immediately after the meeting was over, Vice Chairman Liz Lyons came up to me.  She extended her hand and began asking me questions.  She never once mentioned anything about my position as former NAACP President versus her husband.  Instead she wanted to know my thoughts on privatization.  I answered that question and many others in regards to running the city, and she was impressed.  She is a very smart and professional woman, she was laser-focused.

Since that meeting Attorney Laurie calls me all the time with words of advice, to check on me, and to assist me with a PowerPoint I will be using during the campaign to share facts and hard data about the city and its growth potential.

I applaud Party Chairman Mark Suda for allowing he and I to grow past a career of advocacy that put us at odds most of the time.
And when the IMF invited me to speak at their last meeting and pledged their support for my campaign, I immediately called on the State Republican Chair J.R. Romano to come to Norwalk and speak with me.
He immediately said yes, drove down to Norwalk and he presented himself to the IMF and they were shocked that we Republicans and Democrats have more in common than the Democratic machine has led them to believe.
In the end, I can tell you this, we are a vibrant group of people and we are ready to move forward.
Harry is tired.  He is right to continually state that he is standing on his record.  But we all know that in this life you are only as good as your last album, and he hasn’t put out many hit records lately.
Let’s thank him for his time, pay him his pension for life, and bid him farewell.  I’m sure he is as surprised that his time is over, as he was surprised that a person he underestimated could have the audacity to run for Mayor.
While he is surprised, others in this race thinks that Harry has colluded with me to stop her from coming in second place.  Well, the Crosland Campaign is focused on a diversity of ideas and people, and not in second place.
I have met so many leaders here this week in Vietnam from all over the world.  People have a way of connecting with me.  The growth potential for Norwalk is there.
I am inviting business people from Asia to start a sister city relationship with Norwalk.  The potential for Norwalk to create industry and jobs is there.
I will not be able to run Norwalk alone and I don’t intend to.  I don’t intend to replace all the good men and women at City Hall currently, but we will make changes.
The business minds in the Republican Party are an asset and with the right energized leadership, Norwalk will go places we will be proud of.
It’s time.  A new day in Norwalk has come.
Darnell Crosland
Editor’s note: This column was given minor copy edits at 12:20 a.m. June 4. 


David McCarthy June 2, 2019 at 8:26 am

So, Attorney Crosland is smart enough to stand against the local Democrat Party machine, but he does so while still fully embracing the concepts of the Democrat Party itself. Any Republican who thinks a Democrat that understands his machine is corrupt is a good choice for a candidate for anything needs their head examined.

Also, to refer to Laurie Williamson as “Attorney Laurie” is so sexist and patronizing it disgusts me personally. As a member of the bar, he certainly must be familiar with her or should know he isn’t and check….

Mitch Adis June 2, 2019 at 8:38 am

Welsome to the Republican Party. Unfortunately, there are too many examples from your last Album that tell me to run for the hills. I won’t waste my time listing them, but it begins with a woman named Tonya.

Show you really want to beat Harry and step aside. Endorse Lisa and help her make Norwalk great again!

Scott Vetare June 2, 2019 at 9:14 am

I think it’s time for a debate! Then we can see who really is here for NORWALK it’s residents and employees! Enough of the favouritism here in Norwalk!

Tysen Canevari June 2, 2019 at 10:18 am

I think you are just getting desperate for attention. Just a few years back you invited Al Sharpton to Norwalk to make us look like a complete joke on a national stage. You once called Mark Suda the White Devil in court and now you ask that he and his party endorse you for mayor? The democratic party doesnt want you so you register as a republican now? For such a well educated individual you really make some silly decisions. Norwalk has often been the joke of neighboring towns but we dont need any encore acts Mr Crossland. You cant figure out what you are and you want people to vote for you to lead Norwalk? Your act is very shallow.

Piberman June 2, 2019 at 11:03 am

City politicos like to celebrate our “diversity”. But haven’t shown much interest in creating a City that offers good jobs for its diversity population. Our Poverty rate seems stuck at 10%. Business comprises less than 10% of our Grand List – smallest ratio of CT’s major cities. Encouraging Developers and renters doesn’t encourage more local jobs.

Norwalk Democrats are following CT Democrats failed policies. Raising taxes to improve the economy. Not a promising strategy. The real test of good government is whether cities and States attract new homeowners and businesses. By both measures Norwalk and CT are failing.

We desperately need new energies and interested residents to re-energize Norwalk. Long past time for new energies. So welcome aboard attorney Crossland. Speak out !

Rusty Guardrail June 2, 2019 at 11:48 am

Platform: Zero

Plan for the city: Zero

Previous Political Office Held: None

Most Notable Previous Activity: Falsely slandering Norwalk in the national media, rallying the NAACP in defense of a lying unfit parent who sold drugs, brokered prostitutes, and got sent to jail.

Next Noteworthy Activity: Ensuring yet another 2 years of Rilling as Mayor.

Rambo June 2, 2019 at 3:22 pm

This is beyond pathetic. So a guy who got crushed while running for Probate Judge twice as a Democrat is now going to beat Rilling as a R? Norwalk Republicans are better off not endorsing anyone instead of endorsing this Democrat reject. He is zero chance of winning any political office in Norwalk. Watch Crosland switch back to Democrat by the end of 2019.

Rusty Guardrail June 2, 2019 at 3:32 pm


The International Monetary Fund (the global organization charged with monitoring international currency exchange rates)has somehow become interested in Norwalk’s mayoral race and has “pledged their support” for his campaign?

EnoPride June 2, 2019 at 3:36 pm

“While he is surprised, others in this race thinks that Harry has coluded with me to stop her from coming in second place. Well the Crosland Campaign is focused on a diversity of ideas and people, and not in second place.”

Ugh. This man is running for mayor on seemingly no platform as of yet, and he cannot write to boot! He does not even take the time and attention to form proper sentence structures and present himself professionally to us in his op ed piece.

Norwalk deserves better. Vote Lisa!

Ken June 2, 2019 at 5:22 pm

Why would anyone join the party of Trump? The Republican party is the party of hate, destruction and fake news. You can say that Trump has nothing to do with local politics,however that is not true as long as Trump is President of the United States and as long as Norwalk is part of the United States.

Ct. V June 2, 2019 at 7:00 pm

He seems to be a Republican because the Democrats were mean to him. That’s fine, but seems weird then to have him be the standard bearer for the Republican Party since his platform seems to be “the Dems were mean to me.”

And I say this as a Democrat who hasn’t been super enthused by the Norwalk Dems.

Piberman June 2, 2019 at 9:39 pm

What is it about Norwalk that encourages candidates for Mayor to make their announcements but not provide a “Platform” ? Are really “CT’s Greatest City” ? Or just lazy when it comes to our politics.

EnoPride June 2, 2019 at 9:55 pm

“If you cannot write well, you cannot think well; if you cannot think well, others will do your thinking for you.”

Oscar Wilde

Mitch Adis June 3, 2019 at 6:45 am

BTW. What did Mr. Crossland mean by “These people” when he said “These people will argue a point to no end”. Is that racist?

James Cahn June 3, 2019 at 11:23 am


Welcome to the Mayor’s race.

Please provide your SPECIFIC, ARTICULABLE plan for lowering or even maintaining my tax bill for a defined period of time. Barring that, your SPECIFIC, ARTICULABLE plan for making the value of my property rise significantly enough that I won’t mind the associated tax bill?

If you don’t have this plan, when will you commit to providing it (with supporting analysis) or saying that you have no intention of development of it?

james gallacher June 4, 2019 at 3:21 pm

to the editor: those weren’t ‘minor copy edits’.

i want to hear (and read) what Mr. Crosland has to say so i can make up my own mind about who i’m going to vote for. It serves no one if the publication edits an op ed to clean up misspellings, minor grammar issues (like using a pronoun without reference to a specific person, and just generally clunky writing. Let this stand on its own. I would suggest replacing your fixed copy with the original document.

DT June 4, 2019 at 8:15 pm

Crossland is as Republican as Obama is Irish.
You will never get elected in this city as Republican because of “Tonya.”

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