Norwalk election notes: Crosland & other candidates

Republican Mayoral hopeful Darnell Crosland listens last week as the Republican Town Committee vote tally comes in.

Updated, 1:40 p.m.: Crosland has petitions; correction, three months not 90 days.

NORWALK, Conn. — Some election information for you:

  • Crosland has hurdle to cross
  • Retired teacher seeks BoE spot
  • Liberatore drops out
  • Moccia jumps back in
  • Full Democratic slate listed (Republicans too)


Deadline: Aug. 7, 4 p.m.

Darnell Crosland was going to get a late start on efforts to force a Republican Mayoral primary no matter what, but now he’s lost another day because his campaign manager isn’t a registered Republican. The candidate is relaying a can-do attitude, promising that he’s got enough pledges to get the 488 signatures needed by 4 p.m. Aug. 7.

Crosland, a life-long Democrat, switched his party affiliation to Republican on April 30 after announcing that he was seeking the Republican endorsement for Mayor, to challenge Democratic incumbent Mayor Harry Rilling. Last week, unaffiliated candidate Lisa Brinton got the Republican Town Committee nod instead; Crosland said he expected that and promised to force a primary.

However, Crosland’s Republican bona fides weren’t official until 8 a.m. Tuesday, due to a three month state mandated waiting period on his change in affiliation. If he had already been a registered Republican, he could have started his signature drive the day after the July 22 RTC vote, Town Clerk Rick McQuaid said. Instead, Crosland had to wait a week.

Republican Registrar Karen Doyle Lyons at 4:50 p.m. Tuesday said Crosland had not been in to get the paperwork.

Crosland, in a text message to NancyOnNorwalk, called that “a boldfaced lie” and accused Doyle Lyons of being a “sorority racist,” a phrase Chris Rock used in his 2016 Oscar monologue.

“My campaign manager went in this morning and Karen did not give him the petitions because he is not a registered Republican,” Crosland wrote. “She also called Kelly {Straniti} and left a message letting her know that my campaign manager was in to pick up the petitions and asked if Kelly knew of anyone else would come and get them.  So it’s obviously an untruth to state that no one came.”

Straniti on Wednesday confirmed this account.

Doyle Lyons’ email referred to the need for a Connecticut Republican to pick up the paperwork.

Crosland campaign manager Kirk Wesley is based in New York and was deputy field director for Ned for CT, the winning Connecticut gubernatorial campaign, according to his LinkedIn page. LinkedIn also shows that Adam Wood has endorsed Wesley’s leadership skills; Wood is helping Rilling with campaign communications.

Wesley is a registered Democrat, Crosland said Tuesday, calling this part of “making major strides at bringing Democrats and Republicans together in a big way,” although last week former Republican State Senate candidate Marc D’Amelio urged support for Crosland’s Mayoral candidacy out of loyalty to the Republican brand.

“Kirk delivered up the win to Lamont by winning the urban votes,” Crosland wrote. “If not for him Lamont would not of won.  We are in position to get these signatures without a sweat, and we are the only campaign that has the energy and intellectual capital to win this race.”

The Crosland campaign picked up petitions Wednesday morning, Doyle Lyons confirmed Wednesday.

“We have received 100s of phone confirmations and are now heading out to get forms signed,” Crosland wrote Wednesday morning. “The marathon continues.”


Kemeny seeks District A BoE seat

Alexandrea Kemeny is taking the plunge – she’s just retired from Norwalk Public Schools and already has full-time volunteer work lined up, provided voters give her the job.

Alexandrea Kemeny signs her paperwork last week in the Norwalk Inn after acceptng the Republican Town Committee endorsement as a District A Board of Education candidate.

Kemeny, a former Rowayton Elementary School teacher, won the Republican endorsement last week to run for Board of Education in District A. She will face Democratic candidate Godfrey Azima in the heavily Democratic district.

Azima, a Tracey Elementary School Governance Council member, did not reply recently to NancyOnNorwalk’s request for information about his candidacy.

Kemeny said she’s a lifelong Norwalker who was a teacher here for 31 years. She began her career at Ponus Ridge Middle School but went on to alternate time at Columbus Magnet School and Rowayton, before landing permanently at the former.

Rowayton Elementary is “unified,” she said, calling that unity one of the reasons it’s a School of Distinction.

“I think there needs to be a little more positive energy (in the district) and more unity, in each school,” she said. “…I think the staff and the administration are essential to the children.”

Because she’s retired, she’ll “be able to spend a lot of time researching and finding out what needs to be done,” she said. “… I want to help, make a difference. I love the students, I love Norwalk.”


Republican candidate withdraws

David Liberatore, a Republican, has withdrawn from the First Taxing District Treasurer race.

“After a few days of careful consideration last week, I contacted District A Republican Richard Bonenfant and withdrew my name from the upcoming election of the First Taxing District Treasurer position. This decision was mine and mine alone,” he wrote. “My present professional commitments and obligations weighed heavily in this decision.

I’m honored to have been nominated by the District A Republicans, and I wish everyone running for office in Norwalk- no matter which party affiliation- best of luck and success in this upcoming election.”



Moccia runs for Ridgefield First Selectman

Former Norwalk Mayor Richard Moccia was endorsed by Ridgefield Republicans last week to be their First Selectman candidate.

Moccia is quoted by The Ridgefield Press as saying, “Our message is gonna be clear — we will fight to stop Ridgefield from being overbuilt, over-trafficked, and residents from being overwhelmed by intrusions of business into residential neighborhoods. Economic growth does not have to come at the expense of our quality of life … Ridgefield will never become a city. It will remain a town, under Republican leadership.”


Democratic slate

It’s occurred to NancyOnNorwalk that it has published the entire list of Republican endorsed candidates but not the Democratic slate.

So here’s all the Democratic candidates:

Here are the Democratic nominees for 2019 municipal elections:


Mayor: Harry W. Rilling (incumbent)

Town Clerk: Rick McQuaid (cross-endorsed)

Common Council, District A

  • Kadeem Roberts
  • David Heuvelman


Common Council, District B

  • Ernie Dumas (incumbent)
  • Darlene Young (incumbent)


Common Council, District C

  • John Kydes (incumbent)
  • George Theodoridis


Common Council, District D

  • George Tsiranides (incumbent)
  • James Page


Common Council, District E

  • Tom Livingston (incumbent)
  • Lisa Shanahan


Common Council, At-Large

  • Greg Burnett (incumbent)
  • Manny Langella
  • Nick Sacchinelli (incumbent)
  • Barbara Smyth (incumbent)
  • Colin Hosten (incumbent)


Board of Education District A:

  • Godfrey Azima


Board of Education District B:

  • Sherelle Harris


Board of Education District C:

  • Diana Carpio


Board of Education District D:

  • Erica DePalma


Board of Education District E:

  • Mike Barbis (incumbent)



  • Robert Burgess (incumbent)


City Treasurer

  • Joseph Tamburri (incumbent)



  • Andy Garfunkel (incumbent)
  • Samuel Pride (incumbent)



  • Ernie Dumas (incumbent)
  • Johnnie Mae Weldon (incumbent)
  • Jalin Sead (incumbent)
  • Ari Disraelly (incumbent)



First Taxing District Commissioner

  • Marija Bryant (incumbent)


First Taxing District Treasurer

  • Jalin Sead (incumbent)


Second Taxing District Commissioner

  • Martha Wooten-Dumas (incumbent)


Second Taxing District Treasurer

  • Darlene Young (incumbent)


Third Taxing District Commissioner

  • Michele Sweeney (cross-endorsed)


Third Taxing District Treasurer

  • Ed Holowinko


Sixth Taxing District Commissioner

  • Tammy Langalis (cross-endorsed)


Sixth Taxing District Treasurer

  • Frank Nash




And just to make sure all the candidates are listed in one place, here’s the Republican list again:


Mayor: Lisa Brinton

Town Clerk: Rick McQuaid

Council at Large:

  • Richard Bonenfant
  • Artie Kassimis
  • Glenn Iannacone
  • Jonathan Riddle
  • Enrique Santiago


Council District A:

  • Fred Fusci
  • Peter Havens


Council District B:

  • Patrick Murphy


Council District C:

  • Michael Foley
  • James Anderson


Council District D:

  • Tom Keegan
  • Carl Dickens


Council District E:

  • Peter Bondi
  • Ron Paladino


Board of Education District A:

  • Alexandrea Kemeny


Board of Education District C:

  • Jason Christopher


Board of Education District D:

  • Bryan Meek (incumbent)


City Sheriff

  • Scott Vetare


City Treasurer

  • Jerry Petrini



  • Kathryn Angela Martino (incumbent)
  • Shannon O’Toole Giandurco



  • Frank Mauro (incumbent)
  • John Romano (incumbent)
  • Ray Cooke
  • Peter Bondi


First Taxing District Commissioner

  • Rosa Luciani

Second Taxing District Commissioner

  • Harold Bonnet (incumbent)


Second Taxing District Treasurer

  • Cesar Ramirez


Third Taxing District Commissioner

  • Charles Yost


Third Taxing District Treasurer

  • Read Auerbach


Sixth Taxing District Commissioner

  • Tamsen Langalis (incumbent)


David McCarthy July 31, 2019 at 6:51 am

I’m no fan of Karen Lyons, but she spoke truthfully that Mr. Crosland had not been in personally and seems to have gone the extra mile to inform a Republican associated with his campaign of the requirements associated with getting the petitions.

That Mr. Crosland attacks her as a racist the one time she simply does her job is revealing of his character. I can’t see any real Republican intentionally signing one of these petitions. Let me be the first one to suggest the RTC members who introduced this Trojan Horse to the party resign now and not come back.

Stuart Wells July 31, 2019 at 7:31 am

When someone switches parties, as Mr. Crosland did, the waiting period to obtain full rights in the new party is three months — almost the same as 90 days, but not quite. (If you are Unaffiliated, you may join a party and obtain those right immediately.) Those party rights include being able to vote in a party primary and being able to petition to get on a primary ballot.
All these somewhat confusing rules are matters of state law and thus are not things that the Registrars or the Town Clerk can waive or ignore.

Isabelle Hargrove July 31, 2019 at 9:46 am

I am outraged and disgusted by Mr. Crossland’s unfounded accusation of racism against our registrar of voters, Karen Doyle Lyons. He owes her a public apology. This is an abject accusation to make against someone’s character. It is also laced with a misogynist undertone, making it that much worst. I hope the Norwalk RTC will issue a public request for an apology as well on behalf of Karen Lyons.

Mr. Crossland should have gotten his own paperwork. And why he is surrounded by Democratic operatives? I was always highly skeptical of Mr. Crosland’s convenient change of heart, nothing is proving me wrong so far.

DrewT July 31, 2019 at 10:48 am

The phrase Darnell used is utterly disgusting and does not repeat does not reflect the Norwalk RTC!! I am fully demanding Darnell to cease his campaign now! This is not nor will ever be the RTC! Chairman Suda it’s time to call for an end to this and FULLY get behind our endorsers candidate Lisa Briton!!

Piberman July 31, 2019 at 11:06 am

Has any candidate suggested Norwalk follow Westport where property taxes have remained unchanged for 5 successive years ?

Richard Bonenfant July 31, 2019 at 1:07 pm

Not sure of what sorority she’s in, but it seems like Karen Lyons was trying to assist Mr. Crosland’s team navigate the process and gets called a racist for going by the rules. Not a great start to a petition drive.

Mike Lyons July 31, 2019 at 1:38 pm

How does it constitute racism (“sorority” or otherwise) to follow the law? And how is it a “boldfaced” (BTW, its “baldfaced”) lie to correctly state that Mr. Crosland didn’t come in to get the petitions? He didn’t; by his own admission it was his campaign manager who went in (and, as a Democrat, he was of course not allowed to take out petitions for a Republican-only primary). Ms. Doyle Lyons (who is not related to me) even made an effort to help Mr. Crosland out, by calling an RTC member who is a Crosland supporter (Kelly Straniti) to see if she could arrange for a Republican to pick up the petitions. And for this, she gets called “racist”. That word is thrown around way too casually these days; mere disagreement with someone – or insistence on following the law – is NOT racism, and this needs to stop.

Rusty Guardrail July 31, 2019 at 2:08 pm


-No platform

-Documented history of libeling Norwalk officials. In 2012, he told national press and TV that Norwalk was denying public school enrollment for a homeless mother’s son, when in reality the mother in question was a drug-dealing pimp with a Bridgeport address.

-Now he’s revisiting the above strategy, slandering Ms. Doyle Lyons. Maybe this time Sharpton won’t take his call.

Debora Goldstein July 31, 2019 at 5:32 pm

Incident #3 in which Mr. Crosland has demonstrated he simply has not read or understood basic laws concerning elections. Concerning for a lawyer OR someone wishing to be Mayor, no?

Piberman July 31, 2019 at 6:50 pm

We’re waiting for Mr. Crossland’s and Ms. Briton’s platforms on whether and how they would offer tax relief to hard pressed City homeowners by cutting spending. Danbury spends 30% less per capita than we do. And how they would encourage major business to bring good jobs to our City. And encourage major development of our depressing Downtown. With CT’s economy stagnant now for an entire decade Norwalk like other CT cities remains vulnerable to further CT stagnation. Previous City Mayoral campaigns haven’t paid much attention to platforms. Maybe this time it could be different.

Rusty Guardrail July 31, 2019 at 7:02 pm

He’s also challenged by elementary school-level grammar, as in his statement to Nancy
“If not for him Lamont would not of won.”

Karen Doyle Lyons August 1, 2019 at 9:40 pm

Mr. Crosland came to the office of the Registrar of Voters on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 morning. He was met with Republican Registrar and Deputy Registrar in the main office area.

This was the first time that Karen Doyle Lyons had a direct contact with Mr. Crosland. Four other staff members were present in this area.

Mr. Crosland was given Petition instructions verbally and in hard copy. He was also given copies of Petitions for each of his six circulators. He was also informed he was entitled to a hard copy of the Republican voter list. An email list had been sent to his staff immediately upon request earlier. The hard copy of the list was ready within a copy of hours and pickup by Crosland’ campaign.

Mr. Crosland has made many statements that are very untrue as he does know me and has only had a opportunity to speak with me once directly.

After his statements I do not have any words for him at this time. He needs to know I will only follow the election laws.

Karen Doyle Lyons

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