NORWALK, Conn. – Mayor Harry Rilling has racked up another endorsement in his drive for a fourth two-year term.
Rilling was unanimously endorsed by the Fairfield County Building Trades, his campaign announced Thursday, two days after the Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce debate began with an assertion that Norwalk has lost jobs.
“Harry Rilling understands that economic development and good-paying jobs for residents are a top priority,” Duane Gates, President of the Fairfield County Building Trades, is quoted as saying. “The Fairfield County Building Trades unanimously endorsed Harry Rilling for Mayor of Norwalk because he’s ushered in unprecedented economic development and helped create thousands of good-paying jobs for Norwalk residents. He also supports project labor agreements to ensure fairness and efficiency in the workplace. As Norwalk continues to rebuild its infrastructure including its schools, we look forward to partnering with the Rilling administration to make it a success.”
“Our administration has worked hard to usher in economic development across the city, including the new SoNo Collection, Washington Street improvements, new mixed-use developments such as Waypointe, and hundreds of new businesses with thousands of good-paying jobs for residents,” Rilling is quoted as saying. “The grand list continues to grow as people are investing in our community as never before. I am so honored to be recognized and supported for this achievement by the Fairfield County Building Trades and their members here in Norwalk.”
Rilling, a Democrat, is being challenged by Republican-endorsed unaffiliated voter Lisa Brinton. She did not reply to an email giving her a chance to respond to the announcement.
“The Fairfield County Building Trades represents over 8,000 workers in Fairfield County including the following unions: Carpenters, Operating Engineers, Electricians (IBEW), Laborers, Plumbers and Pipefitters, Elevator workers, Bricklayers and Masons, Roofers, Sheetmetal Workers, Teamsters, Boilermakers and Painters,” the press release said.
Harry Carey, moderator for Tuesday’s debate, said that, “Since 2013, Norwalk has been has not been growing jobs while nearby Stamford has increased employment significantly. In the most recent report, Norwalk shows the decline of almost 500 jobs since 2015, despite a construction boom.”
There were 3,300 more jobs in the Stamford-Norwalk-Bridgeport area this September than there were in September 2018, according to the state.
Rilling has also been endorsed by the American Federation of Teachers, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), AFSCME (American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees) Council 4, and the Norwalk police and fire unions. In addition, he was endorsed by the Norwalk Hour.
Brinton was endorsed Thursday by Republican State Reps. Gail Lavielle and Terri Wood. She was also endorsed by former State Rep. Fred Wilms, also a Republican.
Brinton has not announced any endorsements from organizations. The “endorsement” tab on her LisaForNorwalk website takes you to seven letters to the editor written by citizens, an opinion written by her son and an article about the Wood-Lavielle endorsement.