Garfunkel jumps into race for Cafero’s 142nd District seat

Former Norwalk Town Clerk Andy Garfunkel.

NORWALK, Conn. — Former Norwalk Town Clerk Andy Garfunkel has announced he is stepping up to run for state representative in the 142nd District, a seat that has been held for 20 years by Republican Larry Cafero.

Garfunkel, a Democrat who came within several hundred votes of defeating Richard Moccia in Norwalk’s Mayoral Election in 2011, is looking forward to an issues-based campaign. He believes that, after last year’s contentious election season, voters are suffering from campaign fatigue.

Garfunkel was unsuccessful in his 2013 bid for the Democratic mayoral nomination, finishing fourth in a four-way primary race.

“We are getting an overwhelmingly positive response,” Garfunkel said in a Saturday night press release announcing his run. “I’ve lived in Norwalk my entire life and I can say that there is a real need. People are ready for someone who is prepared to take a new approach to solving persistent problems. I will work to change those factors that are making it difficult for people to get ahead. Government should be a tool for helping our family, friends and neighbors to succeed.”

Garfunkel, who served as town clerk for 10 years and is currently a trustee of the Norwalk Seaport Association, said in the release he believes there are many areas where the state and the city can be working together to benefit the residents of Fairfield County.

“I wish Andy well in his pursuit to become a state representative,” Rilling said in the release. “Like me, Andy was born and raised in Norwalk and knows the issues which challenge our city. I’m confident he will be a strong advocate in Hartford.”

State Senator Bob Duff (D-Norwalk), now in his fifth term representing Norwalk and Darien, was also quoted in the release.

“Andy Garfunkel has always put Norwalk first and will continue to do so as a state representative in the Connecticut legislature,” Duff said. “He will work hard and be a good partner to make our community even stronger. I look forward to serving with him.”

State Rep. Chris Perone (D-137), who represents part of Norwalk, waxed enthusiastic about Garfunkel’s run in the release.

“I am delighted to hear that Andy Garfunkel is running for state representative in the 142nd District. For 20 years, no Democrat has represented the 142nd, and I believe that Andy’s candidacy will help fuel the change we are striving for,” Perone said. “Over the years, Andy has served his home city of Norwalk extremely well and has worked tirelessly on its behalf, not only in his capacity of town clerk, but as a member of the boards of the Seaport Association, the Senior Center and Congregation Beth-El. I know he will apply himself on behalf of those in New Canaan and the rest of the state. He will be a welcome partner representing the region’s needs in Hartford.”

Garfunkel attended the University of Bridgeport, majoring in theatrical design. He owned and operated his own home remodeling business in Fairfield and Westchester Counties for over 15 years before serving as Norwalk’s town clerk from 2001 to 2011 when he chose to run for mayor. He is currently a licensed real estate agent with William Raveis in Norwalk and a freelancing technician with both the Studio Mechanics and Stage Employees Unions in the tri-state area.

Cafero, of Norwalk, is the House Minority Leader, and is rumored to be leaving state government. Cafero has reportedly not made a decision yet, but recently said he would announce “next month,” meaning February. Cafero was caught up in a statehouse scandal in 2013 but was not charged with any wrongdoing. Garfunkel’s former assistant town clerk, Debbie Troy is facing charges she stole money from the city while working under Garfunkel, but Garfunkel has not been accused of any wrongdoing.


19 responses to “Garfunkel jumps into race for Cafero’s 142nd District seat”

  1. Garfunkel the Failure

    I would rather vote for a monkey, before Garfunkel gets elected for the 142nd District Seat.

    After a bismal loss for Mayor, this man refuse to involve himself in having his followers vote for Mayor Rilling. Not once did he publicly support the Mayor so in turn, WE SHOULD NOT SUPPORT HIM.

    But most of all, he was ultimately responsible for the Town Clerk’s Office where thousands of dollars went missing on HIS WATCH. How the HELL is this man going to assume the role of State Rep?

    He needs to take responsibility for this failure – until then, he will never ever get my vote on anything.

    Cafero has done so much for us during the past two decades and should remain there. And I’m a DEMOCRAT!

  2. Nora King

    Your comment is disturbing. Andy has worked hard for the city of Norwalk. He is a good person, has character and will make a great state rep. It is amazing how easy it is for people to be nasty when they can be anonymous.

  3. Rod Lopez-Fabrega

    Interesting that the scurrilous and defamatory first comment to the excellent news about Andy Garfunkl is posted by someone or something that does not identify itself and hides under a silly pseudonym. Not difficult to guess what side of the political divide it’s coming from.

    It’s a great move, Andy, and we look forward to supporting you all the way.

  4. Notaffiliated

    He lost by only several hundred votes to Moccia? Only?? That is true but a several hundred vote margin is a big loss considering how many people vote.

    If the first poster is accused of being biased, I must say a closer read shows which way the author leans.

    1. Mark Chapman


      I am not sure where you read, or THINK you read, “He lost by only several hundred votes…” The story states:”Garfunkel, a Democrat who came within several hundred votes of defeating Richard Moccia in Norwalk’s Mayoral Election in 2011…”

      As to your suggestion that you can tell which way the writer leans from the story, you are correct. We ran the announcement from Garfunkel nearly verbatim, as did The Hour, except for a few minor differences. The Hour cut the Perone and Duff comments; we did not. We added the paragraph calling attention to a couple of news stories that will have an impact on the campaign; and we identified throughout that all the comments came from a press release; The Hour did not.

      So yes, the writer — Andy Garfunkel’s public relations person — does, in fact, lean toward Andy Garfunkel. I am sure the Garfunkel camp would have preferred the Debbie Troy case to not have been mentioned. But, ya know, we report news here.

  5. Lori Raymond

    Oh no. Will he ever go away? People, look deeper, ask around.

  6. spanner

    It figures all who are in the State house will throw Andy under the bus,knowing full well a run against any republican will not injure their run.Andy please tell Bob Duff a large fight this morning in Stamford at the Metro station sending victims to the hospital ended on the platform in South Norwalk where paperwork was given out to those fighting in Norwalk.Additional police officers from Norwalk was used to calm problems at South Norwalk so people using the trains going to Bridgeport could remain safe.Norwalk has resources to take care of the train station during bar closing and accident prone city at this hour?Bob Duff has been asked for years to make things safe his lame answer is I have no control over Norwalk.It was Metro North working the fights this morning at 2am a State problem I assume.Not for nothing Andy you were given documents when running for mayor and didn’t use them why was that becuase it involved those who endorse you? Seems you may not be any better than what we have now knowing the evil we have know is better than voting for the evil we don’t know .I’m sure others who voted for Larry won’t ingnore the good ole boys club from Norwalk your choice to run seems like poor judgement once again with the company you keep.Coming from Norwalk may hurt you among those moving to the city and losing so much money on real estate,working that line of work may hurt your credibility.You ran for mayor based on the rise of crime and fear from those who donated to your run, what happend did it go away and now not an issue among the voters who wallow in it? The city needs to feel safe in order to grow our state reps talk school safety and numbers yet the last few months have produced arrests from fights and more calls than before now that there is more police in the schools ask Bruce for the new numbers and stump on those its obvious we wont see those after the next election a tactic used for years by the Republicans.So whats its going to be shell games smoking mirrors or silence it works for some of those who have run for years in Norwalk.The worst of it was I like most trusted you what happened?I still consider you a nice guy but not a politician.@Nora maybe nasty but honest I’ll admit monkey was overboard.

  7. Garfunkel the Failure

    Lori, he will NEVER go away, that’s the problem.

    Nora, give me a break. Having good CHARACTER isn’t the main component of that position. One can have EXCELLENT character but can be extremely unqualified for the position.


    This man does NOT have good character what-so-ever. He’s an arrogant bully and more and more Norwalkers are seeing it. Hence the voting results last year.

    He’s an opportunist who joins every single organization, not because he cares for the organizations (THE PEOPLE), rather, for networking purposes for votes. (i.e. St. Anne’s Club… really?! LOL!)

    My identity is to be protected for various reasons. But I’m speaking the truth.

    Again, can the people of Norwalk be wrong? Look at the voting results!

  8. Garfunkel the Failure

    Oh, before I forget.

    Don’t skirt around the issue of Garfunkel not backing Rilling. He was a sore loser and acted like a child – just like Miklave.

    A unified party would have put aside their personal campaign loss, band together like Vinny had and promote Mayor Rilling to the fullest extent.

    Before you go throwing stones at me, why don’t you ask Garfunkel why he did what he did…. And he has good character? LOL!

    So don’t sit there behind your computer and praise this man.

  9. Rod Lopez-Fabrega

    So, GTF, you prefer to sling your arrows from hiding.

    Well, you should read the links pointed our in Mark Chapman’s article above–especially the parts about Cafero’s untidy dealings with the tobacco people. This is what NON reported about that some time ago:

    “The government says an FBI cooperator, who has pleaded guilty, led a group of smoke-shop operators in a conspiracy to bribe then-House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan (D-Meriden), Cafero and others in 2012 to ensure that their business would stay free of Connecticut’s steep taxes on tobacco,” the story said.

    Neither Cafero nor Donovan has been charged or accused by the government of being aware of the effort to bribe them. But, if it sounds like a duck, walks like a duck and looks like a duck…

    “The recording of Cafero and so-called political fixer Harry Raymond Soucy was shown Thursday in U.S. District on the fourth day of the trial of Robert Braddock Jr., who was Donovan’s chief fundraiser in the 2012 congressional campaign.

    In another story at CTMirror.com, Soucy also described a meeting with Cafero about the tobacco tax.

    “According to Soucy, it ended with Soucy placing an envelope with $5,000 cash in Cafero’s office refrigerator and telling Cafero there was something for him” the Mirror story says.

    “In Soucy’s telling, Cafero refused to accept the cash, but instructed an aide, John Healey, who then oversaw the House Republican campaign committee, to immediately take Soucy across the street to the Officers Club and instruct him how to convert the cash into five $1,000 checks made out to Cafero’s leadership political action committees.”

    This is the man you would prefer as state senator over and above the BULLYING Andy Garfunkel? (Can you cite one case where Andy bullied you or anyone else?).

  10. Garfunkel the Failure

    To RLF:

    I have plenty of bullying examples, however, it would show my identity, which I will remain anonymous.

    Your diatribe was speaking of Cafero. I’m not here to speak about him. I’m here to speak about GARFUNKEL, period.

    AGAIN, can anyone explain why GARFUNKEL didn’t back Mayor Rilling for the election? I know exactly why he didn’t. I’m waiting for HIM to explain to fellow Democrats why he didn’t.

    Besides him being a sore loser, he was holding his voters hostage from Mayor Rilling… Hmmmm, why is that Garfunkel?

  11. Mr Norwalk Ct

    First I would like to say that I think it’s disgraceful that NON would allow someone use such a name as GTF. I wonder if they would allow one to use Rilling the failure being NON backed Rilling.
    Also GTF did you ever stop and think that Andy did not back Rilling because he knew he was the wrong person for the job as we are now seeing. Rilling has been Mayor for almost 3 months now amd has accomplished ZERO.

  12. Diane C2

    I realize that democrats have a certain philosophy about government services (yes, I call them entitlements), but I would offer Mr. Garfunkel some friendly advice: reconsider your statement “Government should be a tool for helping our family, friends and neighbors to succeed.”
    It is not only completely counter to what many residents believe, it also flies in the face of the sentiment of someone you may consider a great democrat, John Kennedy, who essentially said the opposite in his famous “ask not what your country can do for you..” speech.
    Perhaps a better tenet would be to think government should not legislate obstructions to our success?

  13. tired of negative b.s.

    Please tell me what anyone who steps into the mayors seat accomplish in 3 months.

  14. Garfunkel the Failure

    Mr. Norwalk CT .. PLEASE…….

    First and foremost, NancyonNorwalk is a professional and wouldn’t stop me from using my user-handle on here. That’s why I respect her so much. She’s awesome!

    As for Andy, well … I’ve proved my point to everyone on here. You said it! Andy didn’t think Mayor Rilling was right for the job.

    How horrible is that? You’re supposed to support your political party and he refused.

    So I beg to ask the question, yet again .. WHY SHOULD WE SUPPORT GARFUNKEL, if he thought Mayor Rilling wasn’t right for the job?

  15. Rod Lopez-Fabrega

    GTF: Why don’t you ask Garfunkel and Miklave why they didn’t support any of the other candidates running for Mayor–or each other–before or after the election?

    Mayor Rilling seems to understand. He has supported Garfunkle’s new candidacy. He knows that in the real world it takes more than supporting competing candidates during an election to make a worthy representative to look after the interests of the people. Garfunkel did a great job when he was in city government and acquired a state-wide reputation as one of the best. Yes, it would have capped an otherwise excellent record if he had caught the alleged hand in the till of his assistant, as so ably reported by NON, the journalistic watchdog of our civic honesty. However, as Mark Chapman points out, neither Andy Garfunkel nor Cafero have been implicated in either issue–it’s just a question of where the evidence is preponderant. If it looks like a duck, etc., etc.

  16. Norwalk Voter

    Don’t get too excited Dems. This race is far from settled. Early in the game. Others may emerge and all are welcome.

  17. piberman

    Lets raise the level of public discourse, withohold negative comments and urge Mr. Garfinkel to share his platform with us. To his credit best I can observe he’s been quite considerate of other opinions during his years of service and deserves at least the same respect of all candidates who endeavor to serve for the “public good”. Rancor amidst public discourse ultimately hurts all of us.

  18. Garfunkel the Failure

    Let’s urge Mr Garfunkel to explain why under his watch, his assistant town clerk stole thousands from underneath him, for years!

    Again, we want this man to continue to serve us when he clearly failed at a simple job as Town Clerk?


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