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.
Editor’s note: This column was given minor copy edits at 12:20 a.m. June 4.