Updated, 12:32 p.m.: Romano concedes; Absentee ballots counted; Nov. 8, photo added.
NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk election notes:
- Brinton accepts defeat; absentee ballots have been counted
- City-wide recount avoided
- Thoughts on the BoE turnover
Lisa Brinton has accepted defeat in Tuesday’s election.
Although Brinton, the Republican-endorsed challenger to Democratic incumbent Mayor Harry Rilling, said Tuesday that she’d call “that man” in a few days, she did in fact concede Wednesday morning.
Rilling said she called him at 10:37 a.m. to concede.
On Tuesday evening, she said she was waiting for absentee ballots before conceding to Rilling because she was only 500 votes away from his vote total. In a Wednesday morning Facebook post, she confirmed she had based that on information provided by News12.
“Who knows what or when the official mayoral results will be in – last reported on News12 it was 52/48 % and ~ 500 votes to Harry, but we couldn’t get an answer very late into the evening regarding absentee ballots,” she wrote. “It was a hard fought race and while we may have lost the battle -we haven’t lost the war on putting an end to divisive, partisan politics.”
“We nearly pulled off an upset with our ‘Meet Me In The Middle’ coalition,” she wrote.
Norwalk Democrats compiled their own information on Election Night, achieving results that closely mirror those released by the Registrars’ Office. Rilling is said to have won with 55.2 percent of the vote. Rilling won reelection two years ago with 56 percent of the vote.
NancyOnNorwalk asked Norwalk Democratic Registrar Stuart Wells said Thursday that the absentee ballots have been counted.
“I have no idea why someone, (maybe unsuccessful candidate for mayor?) thinks we have not counted Abs. No one from a campaign has inquired,” he wrote.
Brinton in her Facebook post continued her accusations against Rilling, charging that taxes will rise and “special interests will reap the city spoils.”
“Unfortunately, I fully expect this mayor and rubber stamp council to move full steam ahead with:
– “More fortress apartments
– “Predatory LAZ parking practices on Wall St
– “The Poko/McClutchey Deal and 15 years of taxpayer funded credits and $6M developer fee
– “Razing of the Garden Cinema
– “More taxpayer funded lawsuits
– “Boondoggle Walk Bridge
“I remain committed to fighting these initiatives and shedding a light on the mismanagement & economic trends of our local government.”
She’s going to India to celebrate her birthday with her son, she said.
“Tireless to the end,” Bryan Meek wrote. “I’ll never forget this run. Your energy and drive is an inspiration to everyone you touch.”
“Maybe all those NURDS who supported can now band together to be sure their voices and concerns are heard going forward?Almost 7000 NURD voters, it seems that’s quite enough to have a strong grassroots voice on the issues of concern going forward. Anyone else interested in forming such a group?” another person wrote.
“NURD party upon my return!” Brinton promised.
Another person wrote, “You had some interesting ideas, and I admire your civic engagement. I wish some of your surrogate supporters echoed your gravitas in their advocacy on your behalf.”
The City of Norwalk was poised Wednesday to spend $10-15,000 to decide which of two Republicans will get a constable position.
Seven of eight candidates become constables and this time John Romano is in last place, except he’s only two votes behind Ray Cooke, Norwalk Democratic Registrar Stuart Wells said. That means a recount, which “should cost the city about $10,000 to $15,000.”
Unless the defeated candidate files a written statement with the town clerk waiving the right, Cooke said in an email.
Romano did not reply to an email asking about the situation.
Cooke on Thursday reports that Romano is waiving his right to a recount.
“John Romano has graciously agreed to spare the taxpayers the expense of a recount and allow the election result for Constable to stand as originally reported,” Cooke wrote. “This election is a great excellent example that “every vote counts” as I have been elected by a margin of a single vote!”
Romano has been a constable since first being elected in 2013. He’s won handily in other years.
All-Dem Board of Education
It will be an entirely Democratic Board of Education in late November, a “one party rule” unless someone changes their party affiliation, due to the results of Tuesday’s election.
“The city said they prefer to have Democrats on the ‘Board of Ed,’” BoE member Bruce Kimmel said Tuesday. “I don’t think I don’t think it’s a question of it being a Democratic ‘Board of Ed.’ I think I think it’s the quality that people in the ‘Board of Ed.’”
Kimmel said he knows newly elected members Diana Carpio, Godfrey Azima and Erica DePalma.
“They are first rate, they will do a great job. I’m confident we will continue to move forward and to take our school system well into the 21st century. We’ll continue the progress,” said Kimmel, who announced last week that he intends to run for BoE Chairman.
He would replace BoE Chairman Mike Barbis, who has repeatedly drawn ire. The Norwalk NAACP plans an “emergency meeting” Thursday evening to discuss an incendiary Barbis email that suddenly became public just before the election.
In addition, Barbis has been angry with some citizens, and in December issued an apology to activist Diane Lauricella. He’s made many public sniping comments at BoE member Barbara Meyer-Mitchell.
Barbis did not reply to a Wednesday email asking about the NAACP meeting.
Asked Tuesday if the new Board would be civil, Kimmel said, “I think the Board of Ed going forward will be civil and we’ll work on a collaborative way with all stakeholders, and whatever problems we had in the past will put those behind us and move forward in a constructive way.”
Also winning election Tuesday was former Board of Education member Sherelle Harris, who, like Barbis, ran unopposed.
NancyOnNorwalk asked DePalma what the future has in store.
“Godfrey, Diana and I immediately bonded on this journey,” she wrote. “I’m blessed to now call them friends and I look forward to working with them and the larger team. We have a lot to accomplish in this next chapter, but I’m confident that we have a collaborative and productive group that will get it done.”