Wilms tops Wilson in 142nd GOP state rep race

Fred Wilms shakes Emily Wilson’s hand Tuesday after being named the winner of the primary between the two.
Fred Wilms will now face Democrat Andy Garfunkel for the 142nd District state rep seat.
Fred Wilms will now face Democrat Andy Garfunkel for the 142nd District state rep seat.

3:30 a.m. Full rewrite.

NORWALK, Conn. – Former Moccia Administration Board of Estimate and Taxation chairman Fred Wilms out-polled Republican Party-endorsed candidate and current Zoning Commission vice chairwoman Emily Wilson Tuesday to win the right to face Democrat Andy Garfunkel in the fall to fill the seat of retiring 11-term incumbent state Rep. Larry Cafero.

Wilms won comfortably in the district that covers parts of Norwalk and New Canaan. The unofficial vote total was 522-236, with 152 absentee ballots outstanding.

“I’m relieved, and a little tired,” Wilms said after the totals were in. “I really feel gratified that the Republican voters want me to be their candidate.”

The former Common Council member mounted an early campaign for the seat even before Cafero, the retiring House Minority Leader, made public his decision not to run for a 12th term. That rankled local party leadership, which got behind Wilson, who waited until Cafero made his announcement before making her plans public.

Wilson won the party endorsement on a 4-2 vote in the May caucus. In multi-town districts, delegates vote on endorsements. In single-town districts, ll eligible voters get to weigh in.

“The results are disappointing, but I’m sure the party is going to find a way to win,” Wilson said. “Everybody’s got to vote.”

She said she’ll now be able to concentrate on other things, like her law practice.

“Now it’s back to work,” she said. “I need to focus on work.”

While Wilson carried the official Republican Party endorsement, Wilms was backed by Moccia.

“I think the party is coming together already,” Wilms said. “Emily came over and made some very gracious remarks. I think we’re all going to be on one team.”

Wilms said he expects a tough race against Garfunkel.

“Andy is well known in town. All of us are going to need to be on our A game in November and I intend to do that.”

Zoning Commission Vice Chairwoman Emily Wilson
Zoning Commission Vice Chairwoman Emily Wilson, left, chats with Zoning Commissioner Linda Kruk on Tuesday after being defeated in the primary for the 142nd District Republican endorsement for state representative.







12 responses to “Wilms tops Wilson in 142nd GOP state rep race”

  1. Don’t Panic

    Way to go Rep Perone and Rep Morris!

  2. DeeeeMoooo

    So Watts can now give up the sham address and use the saved rent to pay his taxes. Good news all around!

    What a colossal waste of everyone’s time and money…

  3. oldtimer

    Who won registrar primary. ?

  4. Piberman

    Fred Wilms brings the best financial background of any Norwalk candidate for the Legislature in recent decades. That expertise is sure to be noticed by colleagues to Norwalk’s benefit.

  5. Caraol Casseu

    Bruce should retire…he brings nothing new to the table. He feeds off of peoples misfortune and doesn’t have the connections or aptitude to make it better.

  6. Bill

    Thank you jesus that Watts and Pena lost. I am certain this isn’t the last of them, but hopefully they learned their lesson and move on to other more profitable endeavors.

  7. Bill

    It is insane that Pena and Watts were given $25,000 each of state taxpayer money to win about 250 votes each, that equates to $100 per vote that each us paid for…something is wrong when elections cost this much and taxpayers must fund jokes of a campaign.

    1. Mark Chapman


      What did not get spent goes back to the state. In David Watts’ final weekly supplemental financial filing as of Aug. 5, he claimed $14,580.39 on hand. That, minus what was spent between Aug. 5 and now, will go back to the state. For Warren Pena, the figure was $13,742.35. And, while you didn’t ask, Emily Wilson’s figure is $13,954.39. Ms. Wilson lost by a greater percentage than Watts.

  8. EveT

    Congratulations to Reps. Perone and Morris!

  9. Bobby Badda-Boom

    Congratulations Rep. Bruce Morris. In my book you’ll always be for US.

  10. Chevy Vega

    Congratulations to Watts and Pena. And also thanks to NON for the info on these two guys. Both tried impressively to make their way in the political arena. Hopefully they will be back again.

  11. Bill

    @chevy vega, hopefully not, Norwalk has rejected them multiple times, and I’m certain watts will lose his common council seat now that people better understand his back taxes and lack of real employment situation.

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