Election Day: Rilling wins second term in ‘landslide’; Dems take Council majority

Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling chats with Republican challenger Kelly Straniti on Tuesday night in the Hilton Garden Inn, accepting her concession and thanking her for a civil campaign.
Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling chats with Republican challenger Kelly Straniti on Tuesday night in the Hilton Garden Inn, accepting her concession and thanking her for a civil campaign. Listening at right is Rilling’s grandson, Jake Limone, a junior at Brien McMahon High School.
Election results
Election results

Updated 4:26 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, with link to complete results list from City Hall.

NORWALK, Conn. – Mayor Harry Rilling won a second two-year term as mayor Tuesday, taking 62.1 percent of the vote en route to his win over Republican challenger Kelly Straniti, who had 36.3 percent.

Democrats took over control of the Common Council in a big way, with 11 seats on the 15-member board.

“I believe that for the past eight years we have struggled. The Democratic Party is back,” Rilling said at the Hilton Garden Inn.


Mayor Harry Rilling
Mayor Harry Rilling and State Rep. Bruce Morris (D-140) join the party Tuesday in the Hilton Garden Inn to announce that Rilling has won in a landslide.

Rilling claimed victory at 9:27 p.m. Tuesday night, less than 90 minutes after the polls closed. Sen. Bob Duff announced the news to the crowd at the Democrats election night party before Rilling stepped up to address the packed, cheering crowd.

“So I don’t break with tradition,” Rilling said after it was announced he had won, and won big: “Wow, wow, wow!”

Republican challenger Kelly Straniti called to concede just after 9:30 p.m.

Rilling’s received 8,360 votes and won every precinct, while Straniti polled 4,891. There were 192 blanks and six write-ins.

Earlier in the day, Rilling told NoN, “I called Kelly last night and thanked her for a civil debate, civil campaign. That’s what people want, people want civility. They don’t want negativity. I am sure we will be talking at some point tonight.”

He thanked Democrats for the team effort, and said the group would continue to work hard to continue moving Norwalk forward.

“We will not disappoint (the voters),” Rilling said. “We will make them realize that they put the best team in place to keep this wonderful city moving forward.”

See the complete results: ELECTION NIGHT TAPE TALLY

Democrats John Igneri and political newcomer Tom Livingston newcomer edged incumbent Republican David McCarthy and his running mate, John Bazzano, in the District E Common Council race.

Livingston topped the field with 1,697 votes. Igneri, the incumbent, got 1,647. McCarthy polled 1,536 overall, and Bazzano 1,418.

In the at-large Council race, former Democratic Councilman Michael Corsello (7,462) led the way to a 3-2 Democratic at-large majority, along with Bruce Kimmel (6,595), back in the fold after running as part of the GOP caucus two years ago, and newcomer Nick Sacchinelli (6,570). Republican stalwart Doug Hempstead (6,386) and fellow GOP incumbent Rich Bonenfant (6,127) were also returned to office.

Incumbents Sharon Stewart (6,020), a Democrat, and Republican Glenn Iannaccone (5,811) were unsuccessful.

In District A, incumbent Councilwoman Eloise Melendez (1,231) and former Councilman Steve Serasis (1,132) gave the Democrats a sweep over a pair of Republican newcomers, James Cahn (711) and Darline Perpignan (697)

In District C, Incumbent Republican Michelle Maggio (1,616) and incumbent Democrat John Kydes (1,887) were returned to the Council.

In District D, newcomer Mike DePalma (1,765), a Democrat, secured a seat at the table alongside incumbent Republican Shannon O’Toole Giandurco (1,574).

Add that up and you get 11 Democrats to four Republicans.

“The mayor is going to have a solid, working majority that he can depend on,” Kimmel said. “Of course we will continue to work across the aisle but I predict a productive, orderly, civil Common Council. We are going to get a lot done in the next two years.”

“I think the mayor did as well as we had hoped,” Democratic Town Committee Chairman Ed Camacho said. “I am not sure we expected him to do as well as he did but he did as well as we hoped and I think the city is alive again. I think people feel that and I think that’s reflected in the votes and what seats we picked up.”

Norwalk Democratic candidates join Mayor Harry Rilling at the lectern Tuesday in the Hilton Garden Inn.
Norwalk Democratic candidates join Mayor Harry Rilling at the lectern Tuesday in the Hilton Garden Inn.





There were three contested in-district Board of Education races.

In District A, Dr. Yvel Crevecoeur topped Joe Perella, an unaffiliated candidate endorsed by the Republican Party, 1,028 to 862.

In a District C surprise, Republican Board of Education Chairman Mike Lyons had to wait for absentee ballots to be counted before he was declared victory over newcomer Lisa Nuzzo. Lyons won, 1,483 to 1,417, with 193 blank ballots cast, according to preliminary results released by the Registrar of Voters office at 1:50 a.m. Wednesday.

“Lisa ran strong in her half of the district (she beat me on the machines at
Nathan Hale by 8 votes),” Lyons said in an early Wednesday email, “but I won Marvin by 46, and beat her on absentees by 75 to 48.”

“CT law requires a recount if the difference is less than 0.5% of total votes cast for office or a margin of less than 20 votes,” he said. “The margin here is 66 votes, vs. 16 votes at the 0.5% level.”

Bryan Meek won the Board of Education seat in District D, topping challenger Haroldo Williams, 1,741 to 1,389.

BoE terms are for four years.

In the city treasurer race, Democrat Joe Tamburri beat Jeffrey Konspore, 6,669 to 5,043.

Town Clerk Rick McQuaid, endorsed by both parties, is back for another term, polling 7,062 votes as a Democrat and 5,158 as a Republican and 40 unknown. His 12,260 votes were easily the most by any single candidate

The District B Council races was decided in the primary, with Democrats Travis Simms and Phaedrel “Faye” Bowman returning to office.

Erik Anderson won the District B primary, unseating incumbent Migdalia Rivas  for the Board of Education seat, and had no opponent in the main election.

District E Democrat Mike Barbis, the incumbent, also had no opponent and returns to the Board of Education.

“It was really a team effort,” Camacho said. “Many, many people had a hand in this success and obviously, if it wasn’t for the fact that the mayor is doing such a great job, I am not sure we would have had this success but certainly from the top down I think there was a lot of effort and it paid off.”

Taxing district results (Bold indicates winner)

1st Taxing District

  • Commissioner, Frank Zullo (D) 754, Robert Mercurio (R) 375
  • Treasurer, Elsa Peterson Obuchowski (D) 723, Mariusz Kossarski (R) 352

2nd Taxing District

  • Commissioner, Sandra Stokes (D) 655, Mary Mann (D) 612, Cesar Ramirez (R) 331
  • Treasurer, Darlene Young (D) 758

3rd Taxing District

  • Commissioner, David Brown (D) 635, Michael O’Reilly (R) 596
  • Treasurer, Michael Intrieri (R) 672, Taber Hamilton III (D) 553

6th Taxing District

  • Commissioner, John Igneri (D) 608, Andrew Conroy (R) 320
  • Treasurer, James Hendrickson (R) 577


  • Andy Garfunkel
 (D) 7,196
  • Kathryn Angel Martino (R) 5,539
  • Johnnie Mae Weldon (D) 5,321
  • Brian J Smith (R) 4,717


  • Fred Bondi (R) 5,931
  • John Romano (R) 5,848
  • Ernest W Dumas 
(D) 5,807
  • Brenda Penn-Williams

 (D) 5,790
  • Peter D Andreoli Jr. (R) 5,275
  • Arthur J Scialabba (R) 5,193
  • A Samuel Disraelly 
(D) 5,112
  • Adonis Filpo 
(D) 4,964




7 responses to “Election Day: Rilling wins second term in ‘landslide’; Dems take Council majority”

  1. Chris Bazan

    One party rule is usually not a good thing, however, I have trust in Mayor Rilling that he will keep spending increases in check. If in the future we are looking at tax increases greater than 2% a year due to huge union giveaways, I guarantee this majority on the council won’t last too long.

  2. LWitherspoon

    Here’s how I interpret the new Council majority: Rilling ran strong, and Republicans showed brazen disregard for popular will regarding zoning reform. Rilling can now appoint whomever he likes to the zoning commission, including Nora King. Who will he choose?

  3. Keep it Real 100%

    Bring Nora back! Please.


    Two more years Rilling is bad for Norwalk. Sad

  5. Lisa Thomson

    To the Democrats come the spoils and responsibility. There can be no excuses from the mayor’s office or common council now regarding 1) planning and zoning reform or 2) keeping our taxes in check. You own it all now. Like the Nike ads say, “Just Do It!”

  6. Norwalker

    Not good Riliings back in, big union give away a now , 44,000 registered votes and only 13,000 voted in the mayoral race

    So don’t cry about the 3-4% tax hike coming or the property value decrease if you didn’t come out and vote

  7. Keep it Real 100%

    Voting should be mandatory for American citizens, and in Norwalk charter revision, four year mayoral term, will put local elections with national elections for better turnout.

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