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Mangiacopra, Rilling jockey for position in Norwalk mayor’s race

Norwalk Connecticut 2013 mayoral election candidates
From left, former Norwalk Town Clerk Andy Garfunkel, Norwalk Common Councilman Matt Miklave, Norwalk Mayor Richard Moccia, Norwalk Democratic District D Chairman Vinny Mangiacopra and former Norwalk Police Chief Harry Rilling.

(Correction: The original story gave the wrong figure for the Miklave campaign’s cash on hand as of June 30. The figure, $20,016.35, is now correct.)

NORWALK, Conn. – The financial numbers are in for Norwalk’s mayoral campaigns and they may not be as clear cut as you think.

While it’s true that Democratic District D Chairman Vinny Mangiacopra trounced the competition by raising $40,047 in the second quarter, a press release from former Norwalk Police Chief Harry Rilling’s campaign declares that $22,243 raised for the born and bred Norwalker indicates overwhelming local support.

Either way, the two have far more in their coffers than the competition, including Republican incumbent Mayor Richard Moccia.

Moccia raised $15,180 from 64 donors — 56 from Norwalk — this quarter. Moccia’s total fundraising is $22,905, with $6,742.39 on hand on June 30.

Former Town Clerk Andy Garfunkel raised $2,195.27 this quarter, with $9,628.71 total and $5,525.15 on hand on June 30.

Councilman Matt Miklave (D-District A) raised $21,570 this quarter, but that includes $10,000 the candidate loaned his campaign. His total is $39,691, and he had $20,016.35 on hand June 30.

Mangiacopra has raised $65,580 since announcing his candidacy Jan. 22. He had $45,619.11 on hand at the closing of the reporting period.

“We are amazed at the outpouring of support,” Mangiacopra said in a Tuesday press release. “I see it as confirmation that Norwalkers want change. They are looking for a fresh start, a clear break from the current administration. I am humbled that folks are lining up with us in the numbers they have.”

Rilling’s total since announcing his campaign Feb. 24 is $52,591.63. Cash on hand was $38,893.18.

The majority of his donations come from Norwalk residents — 122 in the second quarter, for a total of nearly 200 over the first two quarters.

Norwalk donors have contributed more than 21 percent more to the Rilling campaign than to the other three campaigns combined, and 140 percent more than to Mangiacopra, a Wednesday press release from the campaign said. Rilling’s second-quarter results widened the margin already established over the other three campaigns combined during the first quarter, as far as Norwalk residents go, the campaign said.

Rilling’s campaign coordinator Dave Murchie said that is significant.

“As probably the most important measure of local support in a financial filing, Harry’s results highlight that he is by far the most popular and most electable candidate with Norwalk voters, and we’re very grateful that they’re willing to open their wallets to show their support,” he said in the release.

Another factoid: The four Democratic challengers have raised a total of $167,460, more than seven times the $22,905 the incumbent has raised.

Moccia had no comment.

His expenses include $2,000 on a telephone poll and $10,625 to the Enchiladas LLC as a half payment for billboards.

Miklave’s expenses include $7,800 to Bridge Communications for campaign consultation, $3,962.50 as an April retainer for campaign aide Marissa Mayer, $4,130.32 for printing costs and $1,100 for his “surprise” birthday fundraiser.

Mangiacopra has more than 400 donors, indicating strong state-wide backing, the press release said. The total number of Norwalk donors is 133, with 87 Norwalk contributors this quarter.

Norwalk’s Future Now and its corps of grassroots volunteers has knocked on hundreds of doors and made thousands of phone calls, the release said.

“We set out to build a coalition of support from every corner of Norwalk, a built-to-win organization that let’s every voter in town know about the opportunity we have this election,” Mangiacopra said in the release. “We are letting them know: it’s time to put Norwalk on track to a brighter future.”

Related link: Rilling mayoral campaign reports $30K in donations, Mangiacopra tops $25K

Comments

9 responses to “Mangiacopra, Rilling jockey for position in Norwalk mayor’s race”

  1. Joe Espo

    Vinny will be nominated. There will be a primary. Harry will win the primary. If Harry wins the primary, Moccia will win the election. If Vinny wins the primary, Moccia will win the election super big time.

  2. LWitherspoon

    @Nancy Chapman
    What has Mangiacopra spent $20,000 on?
    .
    @JoeEspo
    I think your own preferences might be coloring your prediction. Former Chief Rilling has been a pillar of the community for many years. He is a leader with years of experience managing one of the largest City departments. He is the sort of “law and order” Democrat with high name recognition who can command respect and votes from Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike. He hasn’t given much of an idea of what he would do if elected, but nobody else has yet either. I like to vote for candidates who will fight to keep taxes low, and I like what Rilling has said on taxes. I don’t like how he has handled the Amanda Brown/Bill Krummel situation. There is still a lot to learn about the candidates but I could easily see myself supporting Rilling. I would have a very hard time supporting any of the other three Democrats.

  3. Don’t Panic

    I’m guessing my. If money is the determining factor, it appears Mr. Moccia has already lost the general. Oh, wait. We still have to hear what the voters have to say.

    I’m guessing all the chsllengers will have to go outside Norwalk to raise money now Dem faith in the party has been damaged.

  4. Rod Lopez-Fabrega

    Mr. Espo: You wish! I’m afraid that Mr. Moccia’s luster (such as it was) and the long standing but unfulfilled promises made by Republican administrations to bring change to Norwalk are all gone with the wind.

    As for the public squabbling in the Demo Party, isn’t it time for some serious policing of the Common Council prima donnas?

    Who better to do that as well as to bring some dignity and civility to our city government? L. Witherspoon has it just right.

  5. Tim T

    I tend to agree with Joe Espo. If young Vinny or good OLD boy Rilling runs against Moccia it will be a Moccia landslide.
    The way I see it Rilling was a nightmare running one department and now he wants to run the whole city. Young Vinny is just a child with no experience. Andy this time around is out in left field. That leaves Matt as the only true choice. He at least has a plan to reel in the Norwalk out of Control Spending. Also let us not forget how Rilling and Vinny failed to condemn the violence in “BROWN GATE”.

  6. smiklave

    As Assistant Treasurer for Matt’s campaign, you have the “cash on hand” number incorrectly reported. It is $20,016.35. Funds raised at this point have no bearing on the viability of the candidate. They only go to pay promotional expenses. After the primary, the real money will come to support the democratic candidate from the state, so while this looks interesting, readers should not base any conclusions on the amount of funds raised prior to September 10th.

    (Editor’s note: The reporter misread the papers. The figure originally reported was listed as balance on hand at the start of the period, not the end. We apologize for the error.)

  7. Suzanne

    So, we are in the money season of political campaigns in Norwalk where who and how much is all that matters. Ideas subside, addressing issues becomes nonexistent. Lone voices discussing plans are discredited because they are part of the “establishment.” I guess the DTC has no one to blame but themselves as they become the all-inclusive representation for the entire Democratic party and their candidates: anyone affiliated with the current situation in Norwalk government/politics are automatically discredited and it comes down to, “How much money are they making?” Is the constituency letting the dollar signs determine their votes? Do the ideas become secondary, or in the case of Mr. Mangiacopra, the front-runner, the absence of ideas an advantage because it references nothing of what people are so dissatisfied with in Norwalk town government? Keep your dollar signs – I am still looking for the good ideas, the platform, the substance, the plan. Money does not a good administrator nor mayor make.

  8. D(ysfunctional)TC

    I might be tough on Vinny, but you don’t have to put his name in the same sentence as “jockey”. Height shouldn’t be a qualification.

  9. D(ysfunctional)TC

    @smiklave wrote “real money will come to support the democratic candidate from the state”

    And thanks to the transparency that NON brings us on this, we will be paying very close attention to this.

    We know the forces at work here that would love to see Norwalk like another Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven. The state Democrat party has done a fine job of bringing these cities into the top 25 most violent cities in the country with their decades of disastrous policies. The same policies they want to expand into Norwalk and create a permanent voter base of state dependents. They pretend to care about the crime and urban decay that is a direct result of their “compassion”. They think there is always more money that the taxpayers can shed to help and don’t realize that their enablement has kept people and communities down.

    We will be watching these out of town funds very closely.

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