NORWALK, Conn. – John Federici comes across as a mild-mannered kind of guy according to people who have met the Norwalk native and career printer.
So how did he wind up in the middle of a nasty internal Republican battle over the Registrar of Voters Office?
On the May night that he was nominated for Republican registrar at a Republican Town Committee meeting, Federici said that “many people in this room” had been asking him to run, going back six years, just over halfway through incumbent Karen Doyle Lyons’ 13 years in office.
“I wasn’t ready,” Federici said then. “I just didn’t have the interest. Some of it had to do with putting (then-Mayor Richard Moccia) on the spot, putting a race together through his administration. … Why ruffle it? And I wasn’t ready for it.”
Now that Moccia isn’t mayor, he decided to go for it, he said.
“I thought about it,” he said. “I need something different. I’ve been in this mix, know the politics pretty good, know the people, a lot of friends in this room, let me give it a shot now. Let me try it, see what happens. If they say go ahead, I’ll put 100 percent of my ability into it.”
Federici and Lyons will go head to head in the Aug. 12 Republican primary election.
Federici was born 62 years ago in Norwalk Hospital and graduated from Norwalk High in 1970. That was followed by four years at the International Typographical Union Typographer School, from which he graduated in 1974. For the past 29 years, he said, he has been vice president/operations of Commercial Printing Company.
Federici is no newcomer to Norwalk politics. He dipped his toe in the water as a campaign treasurer for Common Council candidate Kevin Fitzgerald in 1995. Fitzgerald won, and Federici soon found himself on the Republican Town Committee, later serving as vice chairman for four years. He served five years on the Historical Commission, served on Charter Revision, six years on Norwalk Parking Authority – four of them as chairman – and two years on the Board of Estimate and Taxation.
For thee past 17 year he has been a member of the Board of Directors of Keystone House, where he has served as vice chairman and chairman.
He has volunteered for The Alliance in Limiting Strays and Norwalk Reads, and is a past member of the Sons of Italy, South Norwalk Boat Club, Norwalk Quartette Club, and Coachmen’s Rod and Custom Car Club
Asked about his goals should he be elected, Federici said:
- Work with my Democrat counterpart and the staff to bring all the voter registration information up to date.
- Bring a cooperative attitude and work ethic to the position of Republican ROV.
- Understand and work with the attitude that my job is important to the city, to the voters and to the elected officials of all parties who rely on accurate and updated voter registration information.
When he was nominated, Federici said told RTC members that he was “truly honored and humbled.”
“I appreciate the confidence you have in me to do the job as many of you know, when I commit to something I will follow through to the best of my abilities,” he said. “I have worked on many campaigns and quite frankly never had any vision of running for office but as they say, never say never, and felt this was the right time.”