Moccia: We did a good job

NORWALK, Conn. – Mayor Richard Moccia could see no wrong in his administration as he faced the Republican faithful Tuesday night to admit defeat in his bid for his fifth re-election at the hands of former Norwalk Police Chief Harry Rilling.

“I know a lot of people will ask what you think caused the problem,” Moccia said as he conceded at the Norwalk Inn.. “I think there’s a lot of different issues, lot of special interest groups. I think there’s resentment against the Republicans because of the shut down. Some people might have felt that I was here too long, a lot of different reasons. But basically it boils down to they ran a good campaign and they convinced people it was time for a change. I accept that responsibility because I was at the top of the ticket. But I’ve had eight years nobody thought I would ever have and I’m actually more disappointed for my family than for myself.”

Moccia, a former councilman and RTC chairman, won election as mayor in 2005 when he defeated Mayor Alex Knopp by 176 votes.

The crowded ballroom had been without Moccia for about an hour. His wife, Barbara, watched the bad news unfold on News12; Republican Town Committee Chairman Art Scialabba came and went, looking solemn.

At about 9:05 p.m. Mrs. Moccia left the ballroom and headed down a hallway with Scialabba. The chairman returned a short while later, wiping a tear from his eye.

When the Moccias returned, the mayor took the microphone and said he had called Rilling to congratulate him.

“We had four great terms,” Moccia said as he conceded at the Norwalk Inn. “We walked out with our heads held high. Obviously when there’s a loss you can look at a lot of different factors but it basically boils down to the top of the ticket and whatever I didn’t do to get the message out. I accept that responsibility. But I do know that I feel that the city has progressed and I am turning over a city that is in good shape to Mayor Elect Rilling.”

He put a bright face on his sudden retirement, which begins in two weeks.

“Tomorrow morning will be a bright day,” he said. “I’ll awake, my feet will hit the ground and I’ll start making sure that the transition to Mayor Elect Rilling goes well. I have no regrets – other than not winning this time.”

Norwalk Republicans election 2013 049-002
Veteran Common Councilman Doug Hempstead (R-At Large) looks at Mayor Richard Moccia after giving him a hug Tuesday at the Norwalk Inn.

Veteran Common Councilman Doug Hempstead (R-At Large) shouted, “You were a good steward of this fine city, mayor,” inspiring hoots and applause.

That caused Moccia to smile.

“The next biggest problem I face is where am I going to put all the memorabilia from the office,” he said. “But I don’t want to prolong this anymore. … Now Barbara and I can take a little time and this time we really are riding off into the sunset.”


8 responses to “Moccia: We did a good job”

  1. Independent Voter

    I would expect no less from a sore loser than to find some ungraceful way to bow out than finding someone to blame for his loss. As he won, so he lost. Go find some cushy “special interest” job and let Norwalk get on with undoing the damage you’ve inflicted, Dick.

  2. EastNorwalkChick

    “Mayor Richard Moccia could see no wrong in his administration …”
    That statement right there sums up the reason why people voted for Harry…

  3. Break the Unions

    Independent Voter
    If you want to see damage wait until Rilling starts repaying for endorsements

  4. David

    I watched the Mayors speech last night, and I thought it was indeed quite contrite. I can’t say I’m surprised, although the Mayor offered different reasons for his loss, for me it came down to his message and his actions.
    I thought his message was an interesting one: “We’ll keep doing what we’re doing”, in effect. That’s great if everyone loves what you’re doing, but it should have been clear that there was disaffection with the Mayor.
    Which leads me to my second point: His actions. Look, regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the Mayor, the facts stand that there were at least three major points of contention in the Mayors last term that evoked strong community sentiment: School funding, Oak Hills driving range and BJ’s.
    Disaffection drives people to the polls to vote against what ticked them off. The school funding issues targeted one of the largest voting block in the city: Parents. The Rilling campaign must have been delighted with the (relatively) high participation rate in the election yesterday. People were motivated to vote.
    In order to counteract that you need to provide some vision or initiative to drive more supporters to vote for you. The “I’m running on my record” message isn’t going to do it. So, yes the Mayor was fully correct on one issue, his message, but he left out his actions.

  5. John Frank sr

    I was hoping Bill Dunne would write a really classy concession speech for Moccia, but, in fairness to Dunne, Moccia was counting on winning and probably never asked. Anybody hear any future plans for Moccia ? Will he stick around Norwalk and become a senior advisor to the party, or, is he leaving for warmer climes ?

  6. Really??!! THIS is an UNBIASED article???? Seriously, NoN could not have made this article any more negative if they tried.
    Yeah, nice slant on this one, NoN…
    Can’t wait for Harry’s departing speech to see if NoN has SNARKY remarks…

  7. The Norwalker

    Mr. Moccia your terrible streets are destroying my car one pothole at a time.

    Also how much donations did you have to get from City Carting to make the kind of service they provide acceptable? Once again they left garbage cans and binds standing in the street causing me to have to double park in moving traffic while I moved the cans and binds out out of parking space(s).

  8. M Allen

    Where are these streets? Mine seem pretty OK. Also, driving tip: avoid the pothole. Don’t hit it and ruin your car just so you can come here and post about it. 🙂

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