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Mastronardi accuses Dathan of being unwilling to participate in a ‘full’ debate

Dathan says prior commitment kept her from Norwalk event

Republican District 142 State Representative candidate Don Mastronardi listens to Monday’s State Senate debate in Norwalk City Hall.
The 2022 Election is Nov. 8.

NORWALK, Conn. — District 142 State Representative candidates met Thursday for a half hour debate. Both said they wish the debate had been longer. One blamed the other and asked what she’s afraid of.

District 142 includes parts of Norwalk and New Canaan. Republican candidate Don Mastronardi released a letter hours before debating incumbent Democratic State Rep. Lucy Dathan in a New Canaan League of Women Voters event that featured five State races, each allotted thirty minutes.

Mastronardi’s letter was delivered to NancyOnNorwalk by Norwalk Republican Town Committee Chairman Fred Wilms. It said:

“As someone who is running to be your State Representative, in District 142 representing Norwalk and New Canaan, I believe in transparency and open debate.

“Norwalk makes up almost 95% of District 142 and yet my debate with Lucy Dathan is being held in New Canaan, for only a half hour and with no live audience.  In contrast, all other Norwalk Candidates are having full hour debates in front of a live audience.

“To the credit of Mary Oster and the Norwalk League of Women Voters, Mary agreed to set up an additional in person and live audience debate between Lucy and I in Norwalk.

“When Lucy Dathan was asked to participate, she claimed she was ‘unavailable’.  This doesn’t come as a surprise, as Lucy Dathan has zero ties to the Norwalk community and only comes to Norwalk to campaign and for photo ops.

“We need leaders who are willing to debate the issues in an open forum and in front of the people they want to represent.

“I am publicly challenging Lucy to an additional debate in Norwalk, at anytime and any place.

“What is Lucy afraid of?”


State Rep. Lucy Dathan (D-142) listens to Monday’s State Senate debate in Norwalk City Hall.

Dathan said she was happy to clarify the situation. She wrote:

“I actually reached out to the Norwalk League of Women Voters in late September to enquire as to whether there would be a separate debate, and I was told that unfortunately they did not have the resources. I was informed that my debate would be handled by the New Canaan LWV. I also reached out to the West Norwalk Association to ask if they would be hosting a debate forum, as they have in the past, and was told they would not. I proactively made these enquiries early on because I need to get dates into my schedule in advance, as election time is very busy alongside my continuing legislative commitments and service to my constituents.

“Mary Oster, Norwalk LWV Chair of Voter Services, did get in touch with me on 10/15 to ask about my availability for a debate in Norwalk on 10/24, however my time had already been committed by then for that date. It is also the date of the debate for the Norwalk 137th district.

“All of the debates are recorded and available on YouTube indefinitely for anyone to watch, from any town. And while I certainly always appreciate the opportunity to see constituents and a live audience, the fact is that these forums are not structured for audience interaction regardless (all of the questions must be submitted in advance). Having an audience does not change the debate process or protocol at all.

“Mr. Mastronardi and I participated in a candidate forum for the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County, and we are both invited to a Realtor Forum on October 26th, so there are other opportunities for voters to hear from us. We’ve also both participated in online surveys including the LWV 411, Patch, and Ballotpedia, which are available to voters any time. If a voter would like to learn more about our positions, I would encourage them to review these resources to see just how extreme my opponent’s views are.

“Mr. Wilms should know that I’ve actively participated in multiple debates both times he and I challenged the 142nd seat in 2018 and 2020, and I find the aggressive temperament and misleading nature of Mr. Mastronardi’s accusations unfortunate and not indicative of a disposition fit to serve a constituency faithfully and honestly.”



Wilms replied, “Don wishes for the same opportunity in 2022 that happened in 2018 and 2020.”


5 responses to “Mastronardi accuses Dathan of being unwilling to participate in a ‘full’ debate”

  1. John O’Neill

    It baffles me that that there’s not 1 hour of time between now and election day that these 2 can’t meet up. Is life so complicated that it is not possible?
    Who cares about the 137th district? They voted in someone who barely showed up in Hartford until he got his 10 years and lifetime State pension. Why should that 137 debate matter?
    While we’re on the topic of 142: I find it amusing to see campaign sings on front lawns along North Richards Avenue backing Democrats. These same voters are unhappy with oversized Temple going up across the street. Obviously, they don’t understand the people they’re supporting are at least partially responsible for those same zoning laws and personnel that okay’d oversized Temple to be built. You can’t make this up…
    Bottom Line: It’s a travesty and a little disingenuous that these two can’t find 1 hour of their time to debate. There’s about 430 house left before election day. We’re only hoping for 1 of those 430…I don’t find that too much to ask..After all, there’s a free state health pension to be had after ten years in office. Not a bad deal..

  2. Bryan Meek

    Lucy reading the stale talking points off cue cards didn’t strike me as someone who has a grasp of what they’ve been doing the past four years. But blaming Rowland (who hasn’t been in office in almost 2 decades) for the high energy prices was beyond absurd.

    Lucy must not know that taxes and over the top environmental regulations make home heating oil and diesel (virtually the same chemical composition) $6/ gallon when gasoline is actually more expensive to refine.

    Government efficiency? You have to be kidding me. And citing DMV as the success story? $30 million in software upgrades and there are still scores of transactions that can’t be done on line. To put this in perspective Amazon.com went live on a $10 million investment. This is our most customer facing agency. There are almost 100 others that account to no one who cares and provide services several multiples of what they should cost. Line item, by line analysis? Give me a break.

  3. Lucy Dathan is as dishonest as she is disingenuous. Last night at our debate all she could do is read prepared notes from a binder bc she can’t debate the issues in an honest and open manner. She claims she is a “fighter,” and her and her party gets things done. However, when asked why electricity rates are so high she had the audacity to proclaim that it was former Gov Rowlands fault. I guess her and her party’s 40 year rule and getting things done doesn’t apply to the numerous taxes and regulations her party has put into place that has had a negative impact on our utility rates.

    I find it pathetic, and telling, that she claims I have extreme positions for advocating for lower taxes on the hard working people of CT and small businesses. It is extreme against Fighting against cronyism and career politicians and putting the people ahead of special interests. It is extreme to want term limits and calling out politicians like Lucy for giving themselves a 40 percent pay raise while she shut down businesses and inflation is at 40 year highs. It is extreme to proclaim that government and politicians should stay out of personal medical decisions across the board including abortion. It is extreme to say that having 90 billion in unfunded liabilities, bc of her and her party’s 40 year mismanagement, is unacceptable and needs to end.


    If I am so extreme why did I get the endorsement of the Independent party, Log Cabin Republicans and State Police while you are happily endorsed by the far left and radical Working Parties Family (which you excluded from the list of endorsements you touted) who has called our police criminals and to call for their defunding. According to you, the doors you are knocking on, Global warming is the number one issue, funny, I have knocked on thousands of doors and global warming has never been mentioned once, but in affordability, high gas and high cost of living have been mentioned almost entirely.

    You are afraid to debate me in front of our voters, in an open forum in Norwalk bc you have zero ties to this city and only come here for photo ops and to campaign. You couldn’t answer a single question without prepared talking points from your out of touch party.

    Let’s have a real debate and let the voters of Norwalk decide who is the extreme one, the local small businesses fighting for the interests of the voters, or the far left political ideologue who just repeats her party’s far left talking points and issues that the majority of voters don’t care about.

    What are you afraid of Lucy? You can even bring your prepared and canned notes again while I will talk openly and honestly to the voters. Stop hiding behind scheduling bc like your canned answers last night that is the typical political response from a phony politician when they are afraid to face the people of their opponent.

    The people of Norwalk deserve a leader who actually cares about them, not pushing talking points and blaming politicians from 20 years agO for the problems you and your party have created today.

    Anytime and anywhere……

  4. Patrick Cooper

    @Don Mastronardi – excellent post. You have my vote.

    Why won’t Lucy play? Because – she is making a calculated bet. The state of CT – also known as the land of steady habits – is an incubator of voters who screw themselves. Worried about all of the headlines on MSNBC, thinking about the latest “breaking news” from CNN, focused on national 2-party culture war issues that have nothing to do with why our harbor is getting dumps of raw sewage on a regular basis. We have limitless virtue but limited capacity to see only local issues in local elections.

    There is a reason for it. The 2 national parties fund raise off it. It’s 90% of what they do.

    Then there is governing – and representation. No time for that. This is what Don is questioning – and just as Bob Duff showed when debating – they have no answers. Ironic but still, to quote Al Gore – these are “inconvenient truths”. The D-party in CT will not talk math.

    I have issues with both parties – and I am an Independent. But – one of the roles of the I party is support those candidates who represent the middle ground – sensible solutions to universal problems that are all but ignored by both the candidates and the media. It’s the economy stupid. It’s why I – and the Independent party – support Don. His feet are grounded in Norwalk – he speaks from the heart (no talking points) because he lives it through his small businesses.

    Now, I’m under no illusions that a single blue-dog D will listen, because like robots – they are programed to not think, not question, but to simply pull the party line lever. Good dog. But seriously – if not for your own family – how about giving 2 cents about your neighbors, including the fixed income seniors? The numbers don’t lie – the politicians do. Get educated – you’ll be surprised.

    The ONLY way CT gets better is by voting in fresh blood, new ideas, and concerns for residents not party. CT has tried the same old, same old, same old, for 40 years. Try new.

  5. Roma Stibravy

    Lucy Dathan is the most outstanding state legislator that I have experienced in these many years. She is a role model for what a legislator should be, extremely accommodating, understanding the issues and responsive to individual needs.

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