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Norwalk Democrats claim victory

State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25) thanks supporters Tuesday in the Hilton Garden Inn.

Election Day is over. Some votes have yet to be counted.

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk Democrats appear to have swept the local 2020 election.

“Obviously, we still don’t have the final-final numbers. There are still some absentee ballots that need to be counted so that we can have those final totals. But I feel really good about tonight,” Democratic Town Committee Chairwoman Eloisa Melendez said late Tuesday, asserting that the DTC candidates had won.

NancyOnNorwalk was not able to contact Norwalk Republican Town Committee Chairman Carl Dickens for comment.

Numbers provided by Norwalk Democratic Registrar Stuart Wells and on the Secretary of State’s website show all of Norwalk’s Democratic State legislative candidates with sound leads in the contested races. U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-Greenwich) cruised to reelection. State Rep. Terri Wood (R-141) ran unopposed.

Video of acceptance speeches at end of story

State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25), State Rep. Lucy Dathan (D-142) and State Rep. Chris Perone (D-137) spoke to Democrats via Zoom, announcing their victories, though Dathan was circumspect and emphasized the need to count every vote.

A view from the lectern, Tuesday at the Hilton Garden Inn, in the room Democrats normally pack on Election Night.

Duff referred to the heat he’s taken over the police accountability bill as he addressed supporters from the strangely empty room at the Hilton Garden Inn.

“I feel that tonight’s numbers show another mandate for me to continue to serve and to continue to work on the things I’ve been working on over the last two years and to continue to make sure that professional accountability and science matter and they win. And I think tonight, professional accountability and science did win,” Duff said.

Duff took 61 percent of the vote counted late Tuesday in Darien and Norwalk to beat Republican candidate Elisavet “Ellie” Kousidis and win District 25, according to the Secretary of State’s website’s unofficial vote tally.

Wells said his spreadsheet does not include Election Day registration votes. It shows Duff taking 63 percent of Norwalk’s votes.

The Secretary of State shows:

District 25

  • State Sen. Bob Duff, Democrat 31,787
  • Elisavet “Ellie” Kousidis, Republican 20,323

District 137

  • State Rep. Chris Perone, Democrat 7,509
  • Ellen Wink, Republican 3,768

District 140

  • State Rep. Travis Simms, Democrat 5,637
  • John Flynn, Republican 1,577

District 142

  • State Rep. Lucy Dathan, Democrat 9,822
  • Former State Rep. Fred Wilms, Republican 6,973

District 143

  • Stephanie Thomas, Democrat 8,007
  • Patrizia Zucaro, Republican 6,423

Thomas and Simms were not at the Election Night counting location and did not address Democrats.

From left, Norwalk Democratic Town Committee Chairwoman Eloisa Melendez, State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25) and Lucy Dathan’s son count votes Tuesday in the Hilton Garden Inn.

Dathan said, “You know, we still don’t have all the results… we have some votes that are still out there. And I believe that we live in a democracy and every vote counts, so we need to make sure that they’re all counted. But saying that I feel very positive. I feel like things are going right. And I think you know, we should be optimistic. And so I’m very pleased to say that and to carry on for another two years to represent you.”

Perone thanked supporters and said, “I really look forward to working for working with folks in my district to make sure that, you know, their employment needs are met, that they’re, you know, their social, their health needs are met. And, and that they’re, that we basically make sure that, you know, we rebuild our economy going forward in a way that makes us stronger.”

State Rep. Lucy Dathan (D-142) is surrounded by family members after acknowledging her apparent victory, Tuesday in the Hilton Garden Inn.

All three referred to the Presidential contest; Duff said, “November 4 starts a new a new day, a new day hopefully for our country and that I am ready to be part of that change,” and Perone said, “We have an undecided national election right now, but at the end of the day, it’s really about how we pull together within the state of Connecticut, to serve the people that in the best way possible.”

“It’s easy to forget what happened in a year when a day feels like a week or in a week can feel like a month,” Dathan said. “And it’s hard to believe that just nine months ago, President Trump was acquitted on two articles of impeachment. But to me that feels like almost two or three years ago.”

She said, “I believe today we are witnessing a fundamental shift in our balance of power. And it’s still early, but I’m very hopeful. Voters are hopefully delivering a verdict on the last four years and demanding that we resolve and restore decency, and fact-based problem solving to all of our policymaking, that government addresses the needs of all sectors of society to create a better future.”

 

 

Himes, Presidential contest

The Secretary of State shows:

  • Biden/Harris: 30,595 Norwalk votes 55.13%
  • Trump/Pence: 24,384 Norwalk votes 43.94%
  • U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-Greenwich): 29,580 Norwalk votes, 70.3%
  • Jonathan Riddle, Republican: 12,873 Norwalk votes, 29.7%
  • U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-Greenwich): 182,640 district votes, 68.50%
  • Jonathan Riddle, Republican: 112,337 district votes, 29.81%

Himes released a statement:

“I want to thank the voters of the Fourth Congressional District for placing their trust in me again. I am so fortunate to have thoughtful, independently-minded constituents and it’s the honor of my life to serve this district.

“Now, it’s about moving forward. We have a huge project in this country to restitch our civic life and restore civility and decency in our daily discourse. I’m conscious to the fact there were people who went to the polls today to vote against me. And I’m going to try to reach out to them as well and do my part to restitch the tears in our civic fabric as well.

“Tonight, I’m very thankful for this district placing their trust in me again. I look forward to continuing to serve all my constituents in Connecticut’s Fourth Congressional District.”

 

Original story:

Election Night counting underway

 

State Sen. Bob Duff, third from left, studies unofficial results Tuesday in the Hilton Garden Inn.

 Duff, Dathan, Perone claim victory

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk Democrats and Republicans are busy tallying unofficial voting results, with no conclusions yet.

“The numbers look good,” State Sen. Bob Duff said, indicating that he’s ahead of Republican opponent Elisavet “Ellie” Kousidis at this point.

West Rocks Middle School voters appear to have gone for Kousidis, Democrats said. There’s also a problem getting results from Fox Run, where a tabulator has jammed.

Unofficial Democratic results – which don’t include absentee ballots – at 9:20 p.m. showed Duff with 14,651 votes to 12,738 for Kousidis. State Rep. Chris Perone was shown as winning a decisive victory over Republican challenger Ellen Wink, 4,153 to 2,908. State Rep. Travis Simms was also well ahead of Republican challenger John Flynn.

Democrats said they took out the absentee ballots to make sure they weren’t counted twice. At 9:26 p.m., Duff told the Zoom meeting, “Looks like a good night.”

Democrats show their District 143 State Rep. candidate, Stephanie Thomas, behind Republican challenger Patrizia Zucaro. The numbers look better with the absentee ballots figured in, they say.

Former State Rep. Fred Wilms is shown as winning every poll today in his attempt to unseat Democratic State Rep. Lucy Dathan and regain the post he held for four years. Again, these are unofficial results that don’t factor in absentee ballots. Democrats are expressing optimism that Dathan will keep the seat.

Norwalk absentee ballots were overwhelming cast by Democrats and unaffiliated voters. New Canaan ballots were evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, with unaffiliated voters outnumbering either political party.

At 9:50 p.m., Democrats factored in their absentee ballot stats and showed Dathan with 6,422 votes to 5,022 for Wilms. These unofficial results don’t include the untabulated results from Fox Run. They also don’t include absentee ballots from New Canaan.

At 10:32 p.m., Democrats show Thomas winning 143.

Duff, Perone and Dathan claimed victory at 10:53 p.m., though Dathan was less definitive in her remarks, saying that she believes in democracy and every vote needs to be counted. Duff said the election results are a mandate for Democrats to continue with their plans.

DTC Chairwoman Eloisa Melendez then said Thomas had won.

18 comments

John ONeill November 3, 2020 at 11:50 pm

I have to hand it to the voters of 137..Their rep showed up for 30% of committee meetings yet still got elected. That is mind boggling. Hey maybe my expectations of a State Rep are too high..I find that incredibly outrageous.

Drew November 4, 2020 at 1:45 am

A little premature on their part especially with the Absentee Ballots NOT counted. These results are not official and things could turn sharply. This isn’t over by a long shot. Stay Tuned!

Scott November 4, 2020 at 6:20 am

Another sad day in Norwalk! Do nothing but lie Duff & no show Perone win? You people are out of your minds!

HMS November 4, 2020 at 8:02 am

Congrats Bob Keep doing what you are doing. The vast majority of Norwalk appreciates every thing you do Norwalk.

Ron Morris November 4, 2020 at 8:18 am

This just prove that the citizens of Norwalk welcomed the police accountability. They were not fooled by the propaganda from the police union..Thanks BOB

NiZ November 4, 2020 at 1:52 pm

I am 137th district and do not understand how Perone won, he has been MIA… then considering all the messy new development projects for EN. I just do not understand how he was re-elected.

John ONeill November 4, 2020 at 3:54 pm

@Ron: I disagree. The fact that a state Rep who never shows up for his constituents at committee meetings and still gets elected proves voters blindly vote party line..I disagree with that thought process, BUT it’s a free country. Everyone can vote as they please. I think if a phantom candidate ran as a Democrat in the 137, they’d win. That’s basically what just happened.

steve November 4, 2020 at 6:10 pm

After losing for Probate Judge a few years ago Larry Cafero called on Republicans to take on a new tack. Sadly, few have heeded his words and the local Republican party has devolved into the party of Trump with an off putting tone and a moral compass that seems to have lost it’s magnet. We need a competitive second party in Norwalk otherwise we run the risk of having a bloated and over confident single party system ripe for problems. A politician brings in $180 million for a new school and the opposing party only finds fault with it. They complain about regionalization identifying more with the exclusive communities to our north, west and east then to the cost savings and improvements that some economies of scale might portend. You would think that after losing, losing and losing they’d change their tune

Tysen Canevari November 5, 2020 at 8:25 pm

What an excellent point Steve. Ellie couldnt tell us what she wanted to do because she lost her note cards. Imagine that. The republican party is non existent in Norwalk. I think Bryan Meek would be a valid candidate for sure if he ever ran. Perone is awful. How do you blow off votes in Hartford and get away wwith it? The state should institute a mandatory attendance minimum or you are out!

JustATaxpayer November 6, 2020 at 10:11 am

Congratulations to all the glasses of water with a “D” on them. I’ll eventually be out of this once great state — remember, it wasn’t all that long ago.

Bryan Meek November 6, 2020 at 11:43 am

@Steve, the opposition to the $180 million for Norwalk HS is not partisan. In fact, a very bi-partisan group of leaders came together and forged a facilities plan based on needs that is now being ignored for the most part. The needs were identified by professionals in the industry who spent 1000s of hours pouring their collective 100s of years of experience based on scientific data and lengthy surveys. Bob Duff’s back of the napkin plan does nothing to address the needs of the city and further it will probably cannibalize efforts to do what was actually needed when it comes in $50 million over budget and the reimbursement rate ends up being more like 50%, which is what typically ends up happening with all of these state financed projects. Duff knows this, but he goes for the shiny objects. It’s like putting a pool in when your roof is leaking and rotting. The only thing more amazing than Duff’s con job is the degree to which his lackeys are misinformed.

Steve November 7, 2020 at 6:25 am

Bryan no question that the $180M didn’t address the other needs of the district but that wouldn’t come from the State government without some major changes in who can attend our elementary and middle schools. Maybe that would’ve been the better tack but this $180M was not in lieu of the other needs. You make a number of suppositions of what you expect ie. 50% of the funds for State financed jobs—is that generally true of schools? Provide some evidence that’s not simply anecdotal but is based on a high proportion of state financed projects. My sense is whatever Bob could do (and I’m hardly his lackey or acolyte) you and the Republican minions here would find fault with. It’s the pile on that undermines your credibility. The inability to find one positive aspect of his terms in office. It’s the pure v. EVIL binary that’s off putting and makes the Republican Party increasingly irrelevant in Norwalk. Until the party heeds the words of Larry Cafero politics here in Norwalk will continue on their current trajectory. It wasn’t long ago that we had a Republican mayor and a BOE that was far more bi-partisan. The Republican Party keeps on losing and losing and losing…even with a good candidate like Kousidis they were trounced.. Maybe the party needs to pivot a little. We need a two party system here

CHRISTOPHER Alan SCI November 7, 2020 at 10:13 am

Norwalk, and Connecticut for that matter, are victims of their own votes. The Democrats in charge in Norwalk are a crooked as they come. Bob Duff and Harry Rilling being right up there at the top of the list. All they do well is spend other people’s money and continue to bankrupt their respective budgets, leading to more and more tax increases. The entire local media,including Hearst’s Norwalk Hour, and Nancy as well, push wreck less socialist agendas and squash any opposition voices. Get ready for the new America, where history is whitewashed and rewritten to appease socialist Democrats, where big tech censors the President of the United States, where CNN, CBS, ABC, etc., cut away from the President while he is speaking to the nation, where Facebook, Google, and franklty all media, even Fox now, decide what news they want to present, and what news to withhold. Thank God the Senate will stay Republican. It is the only defense America has to be overrun by Democrat socialists. God Bless and Save America.

Chris Sci

Curious Voter November 8, 2020 at 7:41 pm

The trump supporters are still being divisive, not a winning strategy folks. We need civility not division.

Bryan Meek November 9, 2020 at 11:38 am

@Steve. Norwalk is already a minority majority school district at 60% non white, so I’m not sure how much more diversity we need and last I knew we were already over the 50% free and reduced lunch eligibility. I’ve lived here most of my life and you don’t need census data to see that the demographics rapidly changed when Sanctuary Harry and Bob opened our city and state to anyone willing to come here (without any type of background checks, including medical history as most legal migrants attest to). This more than your distaste for Republicans is what explains the shift. To give credit where credit is due the Democrats have been very effective at eradicating all opposition not only in Norwalk but all surrounding towns as well now and will most likely continue to shut the GOP out of the conversation in Hartford like they have done. By most measures I had a successful bi-partisan run on the BOE, shepherded 5 straight budget surpluses, and voted with the majority on most occasions, yet their party still needed to snuff me out and ran someone wildly popular with 1000 relatives in town against me. To her credit I had just about the same number of votes in 2015 as I did in 2019. Maybe it was just cause, I think one of the few times I voted against them was when I thought we couldn’t afford the costs associated with late high school start times. But moreover, and this isn’t a knock on the woman who beat me fair and square and is a more than worthy replacement, but it is the party that wants to silence all. So while you say the GOPs argument is binary, all I can say is that the Dems efforts aren’t even a choice.

Back on topic. New Lebanon School in Greenwich is / was mostly done from the last source I can find. It was advertised as an 80% reimbursement project and has only gotten about 45% reimbursement so far with a ball field to go. https://www.greenwichtime.com/local/article/New-Lebanon-student-population-up-for-the-school-14501084.php

Sure Greenwich can probably afford to eat the $10 million, but if that happens on this scale of a project Norwalk will be out another $50 million on top of the $50 million for our stake. I haven’t even discussed how far off the estimate is of what it will take to build there. There’s a reason why the building is laid out the way it is a major re-engineering effort due to the amount of ledge material in the property. At the time of original construction they had to make changes otherwise the excavation would have bankrupted the city, I’m told.

What’s more? There are over $50 million in improvements in the current building that we are still paying for over the next 20 years, including $5 million in the past two years just for the pool, auditorium, boiler, and little bear cafe. Plus the interior looks like a 3rd world airport right now with all the veneer torn off with that project and everything else good planned for it is suspended. So the next 5 graduating classes will get to enjoy that while this thing eventually dies in the design phase.

We had about $10 million left to go in renovations that would have completely restored NHS to a service level where 20 to 30 years of useful life would have been had, and on top of it money left over for one of the schools that we actually needed to build 3 years ago to handle enrollment growth.

The one thing I wanted to add to NHS while I was there was a functional and aesthetic enhancement that would have cost somewhat but would have been beautiful. An angled, bronze-ish, parapet wrapped around the roof top that would deflect water away from the building that notoriously stains it over time and it would take away the monolithic look and feel of the structure. Similar architectural improvements were done to many of the 1940s era dormitories up at Storrs and they look awesome.

I’ll reserve final judgement as the process plays itself out, but right about now this move was the most cynical and dishonest things I’ve ever seen in politics. I’d rather Bob work on getting the Merrit actually connected to I95, if he wants to do something really useful after 20 years of dithering.

B Aitken November 9, 2020 at 1:52 pm

In the last election for news companies to introduce ‘fact checking’ was the first ever. It is disappointing that it was necessary, as politicians were not being candid.

Regardless of views on either side. Let’s be clear on what ‘censor’ means properly in our dictionary…

1 : a person who supervises conduct and morals: such as
a : an official who examines materials (such as publications or films) for objectionable matter Government censors deleted all references to the protest.
b : an official (as in time of war) who reads communications (such as letters) and deletes material considered sensitive or harmful

‘Censor’ means to actually DELETE information so that people can’t see what the message was intended to be. Major tech haven’t done that. They are doing a ‘fact check’, and if the facts are not validated, to advise users of such. I think that is fantastic, as it reduces brainwashing of anyone, either party.

I won’t ‘fact check’ what @Chris Sci said. However, I would caution that legally you have posted ‘slander’ calling people crooks (without fact), which can open you up personally for litigation if those whom you slandered so decide. Calling someone a ‘crook’ is not an opinion. It is an allegation.

I urge all to stop all the rhetoric, slander, and to take more responsibility for what you say and the impact your words have on people’s careers, lives, and views on feeling safe in this country.

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