NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk and Darien Democrats endorsed State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25) to run for a tenth two-year term, praising him as a politician who really does “stand up” for his constituents.
“Bob, as many of you know, has been targeted by the Republican Party for many years, because he’s a threat to them. But he has prevailed because the voters of the 25th district know and appreciate what Bob has done for us,” Mayor Harry Rilling said, nominating Duff for the seat.
“All of you know that public service is my passion. I love this job. I love standing up for you,” Duff said.
The convention held Tuesday on Zoom featured 58 delegates voting for Duff.
“We know this is a very, very, very difficult time in our country, times unlike we’ve ever seen,” Rilling said. “Our democracy’s being attacked, women’s right to choose is being threatened, the NRA is standing up and gun violence is all over, the pandemic, and its effect on our students in our economy.”
The district needs a state senator who has the courage to “meet those challenges head on” and “Duff is the man,’ Rilling said.
Not only has Duff fought for women’s rights and equal pay, he’s “been right by my side” during the pandemic, helping to strategize, Rilling said. Duff has brought money to Norwalk, to the schools, the museums and “millions” for infrastructure.
“In Hartford, you don’t demand respect. You have to earn it. You have to earn it every single day. Bob is respected in Hartford, and that is why he keeps getting reelected as Senate Majority Leader,” Rilling said.
Duff helps pass bipartisan legislation that seeks to address the mental and physical health of students, said Theresa Vogt, Darien Democratic Town Committee Chairwoman, asserting that Republicans attack educators and curriculum, while “Duff and his fellow Democrats propose and support legislation that prepare students for the world outside of Darien and Norwalk.”
She said, “We need Bob Duff in the Senate to continue fighting for all our children with sensible ideas and legislation versus the Republican strategy of anonymous Twitter or Instagram pages filled with lies and myths and misinformation that do nothing but incite unnecessary fear.”
Norwalk Board of Education Chairman Colin Hosten said the State budget signed Monday by Gov. Ned Lamont “may be the best budget ever for the city of Norwalk, particularly for our school district.”
The State has upped its share of school construction funding to 60% of costs for the next 25 years and increased the budget for a new Norwalk High School by $50 million.
“Honestly, my jaw is still on the floor,” Hosten said.
“I am so excited about the state of Connecticut,” Duff said. “And many of you know that over the over the years, we’ve had to make some difficult choices and decisions… 10 years of hard work has gotten us to that place where we just passed a budget, a bipartisan budget, again, that cuts $600 million in taxes, but also invests in mental health, in early childhood education and secondary education, invest in higher education, and invest in our local schools, with Norwalk High School.”
He also touted the “second strongest data privacy bill in the entire country” coming out of this legislative session. The Rainy Day Fund as more than $3 billion and “We are paying down our pensions, billions and billions of dollars at a time, which actually will give us about $400 million next year in room in our operating budget, which will effectively help end our structural deficit.”
He said, “we’ve done that in a in a most responsible way, never turning our back on our cities, never turning our back on our kids, but continuing to make those tough decisions.”
“There’s really exciting things to do over the next two years. We are in a much stronger position. People are moving to Connecticut like crazy,” Duff said. “Norwalk is one of the largest, fastest growing cities in the in the state. And, and I just want to make sure that we are positioned right, as a state, we’re positioned well as Norwalk and Darien, and that we continue to move forward, we continue to make the proper investments and that I continue to listen to all of my constituents in every community and represent all of you the best that I possibly can.”