Norwalk Dem files papers for mayor

Norwalk District D Democratic Chairman Vinny Mangiacopra has filed papers to run for mayor. This photo is on his website. (Contributed photo)

By Nancy Guenther Chapman

NORWALK, Conn. – A fresh face with “a long resume in public affairs and civic action” filed paperwork Tuesday morning to seek the Democratic nomination for mayor of Norwalk.

“Norwalk’s Future Now” is the campaign committee name behind District D Democratic Chairman Vinny Mangiacopra , 31, who has worked in both the Bridgeport mayor’s office and Bridgeport’s probate court, according to a press release.

“Every step of the way, this campaign is going to talk about demanding Norwalk’s Future Now,” Mangiacopra said in a statement. “The perception of our school system is unflattering, our economic growth is stagnant and violent activity in our neighborhoods is an epidemic. We need leadership on so many fronts, right away. People are tired of waiting. With vigorous advocacy and focused vision, we can achieve change, but we’ll get there quicker when we do it in unison as a community.”

Mangiacopra (pronounced man-juh-kop-ruh) is the third Democrat to officially announce an intention to run for Norwalk mayor. Former town clerk Andy Garfunkel, who ran unsuccessfully against incumbent Republican Mayor Richard Moccia in 2011, also has filed papers. Common Councilman Matt Miklave (D-District A) has formed an exploratory committee to run for mayor, and recently announced that he had raised $4,600 for his candidacy.

Former Norwalk Police Chief Harry Rilling has expressed interest in the Democratic candidacy. Moccia has not yet said whether he will run for reelection to a fifth term.

Mangiacopra, who Tweeted his intention to run at 8:19 a.m. Tuesday, had been telling people privately for days of his decision. He said he is “excited” about running.

“I look forward to bringing an energy and sense of urgency to the race. The people of Norwalk are ready for change and a fresh perspective, many feel it’s long overdue,” he said in the release.

Mangiacopra holds a masters degree in public administration with a concentration in city management, according to the release. He served as Monroe’s economic and community development coordinator and as campaign aides to both former Westport First Selectwoman Diane Farrell and U. S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-Greenwich).

“Fighting for and serving the people has been my passion. I know what it takes to be an effective mayor and I am going to be relentless about it,” Mangiacopra said in the release.

He is founder and president of a local communications firm, The Preferred Group. “The challenges facing small businesses are abundant. The mayor needs to make sure the city is doing all it can to make it easier for business owners to stay in Norwalk and keep their doors open for a long time,” said Mangiacopra in the release.

Mangiacopra and his wife, Kelsie, a lifelong Norwalker, reside in the Cranbury section of town. He also was on the ballot in 2011 as a candidate for city sheriff, falling 77 votes short in the citywide election.

“I promise you that this will be one of the most dynamic campaigns in this city’s history. We have a message for our community and we’re going to take it to the people. I learned in sports a long time ago that the team on the front of the jersey is more important than the name on the back. Our team is Norwalk and it’s time to fight,” Mangiacopra concluded in the release.

For more information on the Vinny Mangiacopra for Mayor Campaign, visit www.NorwalksFutureNow.com or Twitter and Instagram @NFN2013.


33 responses to “Norwalk Dem files papers for mayor”

  1. Harold

    Fresh face for a fresh Norwalk! He seems motivated and determined to make a change for the better here in town. Can’t wait to hear some of his ideas!

  2. Tim T

    Shame all these wannabes are now coming out if the woodwork. He has Zero chance of winning and should not screw it up for Andy becoming mayor. Do the right thing for the democratic party and drop out.

  3. Jack Taylor

    I’m very excited to see that Mr. Mangicopra is running for Mayor. He will bring fresh ideas and new energy to a city that desperately needs it. I wish him all the luck in the world. I hope other Democrats bring new ideas to this election cycle.

  4. Tim T

    He is way to young..

  5. Tim T

    If he lost running as city sheriff which is a nothing job…What in the world makes you think he could win as mayor???

  6. Paige

    “He has Zero chance of winning and should not screw it up for Andy becoming mayor.” Tim T

    Just based on your hateful rhetoric against the Norwalk Police and people including fellow Democrats who do not immediately agree with your viewpoint in other posts on other sites, Tim, I wouldn’t vote for Andy if he was the last person on earth. And that’s a shame since I know Andy and actually think he’s a decent guy.

  7. LWitherspoon


    I agree, Andy is a decent guy. I don’t have that same feeling about Matt Miklave. Rumor has it that two council meetings ago, near the end of the meeting Miklave shouted down Bruce Kimmel’s attempt to make a procedural comment, and then smiled smugly at Kimmel. Perhaps this was Miklave’s way of “punishing” Kimmel for joining the majority caucus. Whatever the case, it did not reflect well on Mr. Miklave. In contrast, it’s hard to imagine Andy Garfunkel behaving that way.

  8. Joanne Romano

    T, is there anyone who you do like? you are an equal opportunity Bully!!! While I won’t comment on any of the candidates, who are you to decide who should or should not run???? Oh Great and Powerful Oz!!! If you truly believe that that I will somehow go away and not take you to task for your nastiness and downright abusiveness toward others you are dead wrong! You have no regard for others and you are a bully and thankfully others see you for what you are!

  9. Peter I Berman

    So far none of the 3 announced Democratic candidates have presented a platform. Moving Norwalk forward is not a platform. Without a well thought platform there is no reason to believe that any of these candidates will run a credible campaign that will engage the public in meaningful discussion.

  10. Suzanne

    Mr. Berman, I was really hoping to find that “Moving Norwalk Forward” and “Uniting Norwalk” and “Relentless Progress and Improvement” would NOT be what I would find in examining this candidate’s “platform.” Alas, you are right: there IS not a platform. No clear set of goals specified to the issues most pertaining to Norwalk’s present and future, no attention to the “nuts and bolts” of running a government that is sorely lacking in this presently. Just empty, generalized rhetoric signifying nothing. I am looking, searching for a candidate that will actually MEAN something and DEFINE something and SAY something and there is NOTHING and NO ONE among the current crop of Democratic candidates. You are absolutely right, Mr. Berman. I am waiting and hoping but feel completely skeptical that anything meaningful will emerge from the Democratic Party.

  11. Anna Duleep

    The coming Democratic primary will be a great opportunity for Vinny, Andy, Matt, (and possibly Harry) to explain their respective platforms in greater detail. I look forward to each gentleman’s inspiring a more thoughtful response from the others. We are a big tent party, after all. I don’t know many candidates who put forth their full platform on day one of an announced campaign. We don’t even know yet whether Mayor Moccia will seek an additional term! Nevertheless, each contender will have to explain his vision for Norwalk -and detailed path toward that vision- to win the primary. Let’s give them some time and see what each candidate brings to the public discourse.

  12. Paige

    @Witherspoon – I wasn’t at that particular Council meeting (thank you, God!) but I know of three people who were. And they mentioned something along the same lines about Bruce Kimmel being blocked from commenting. Sadly, I wasn’t surprised.

  13. Paige

    @ Joanne Romano – Tim likes Andy. That’s why he’s been waging a smear war against the Norwalk Police Department. Andy ran on a reduce Norwalk crime platform last time. Of course, that does beg the question of Tim’s being paid to be so obnoxious and whether Andy supports Tim’s tactics.

  14. Tim T

    Paige Once again stalks me from site to site all because I make her look like a fool time and again. As for Joanne I have told her before and I will tell her again that her attitude is so typical of the Norwalk republican and she proves this time and again with her posts..I would like to thank Joanne for this.
    Joanne stated “If you truly believe that that I will somehow go away and not take you to task for your nastiness and downright abusiveness toward others you are dead wrong!” HAHAHA I love it as with each post she looks more and more childish and angry. Everyone should keep in mind that Joanne is mad because I called her out as being full of HOT AIR in regards to a post she made about crime. I challenged her to actually do something about it and instead all we got was yet more HOT AIR..I understand that she would never ever go against the GREAD OZ. Of course we will now see yet more HOT AIR from Joanne in a reply to this post. Also I am sure Pagiee will chime in as I also made her look like a fool several times
    Come on Joeann keep proving my point I know you can do it

  15. Suzanne

    Ms. Duleep, call me crazy but I was thinking that the reason a person would sign up for candidacy for a given office was because they had reasons and an idea for how they might realize those reasons.

    It is an absolute turn off to this voter that candidates who declare themselves as such do not stand for something out of the gate. They MUST be running for some reason other than the empty rhetoric that is a huge voter turn-off. Don’t you think we have heard this type of language before in countless campaigns?

    I would love to see any candidate, I don’t care which party, actually stake their claim to REAL ideas about the ISSUES affecting Norwalk, right now. Show some courage, some back bone. If they don’t have any opinions or ideas, heaven help us. But, who is to know since we are not allowed to know “day one” of the candidacy?

    Are you implying that this is an “against” campaign if Mayor Moccia runs? Rather than a specific “for change” to improve the City of Norwalk? What a disgraceful lack of imagination.

    A person is a candidate because they have platform: all I am saying is make it something of substance so that as a constituent, I know what they stand for. If that is asking too much, God help our election process.

  16. Joanne Romano

    Here you go T..here’s my answer to your usual stupid and nasty and rude and bottomless pit of donkey dung…You didn’t call me out..because as I told you before and I will tell you again..I’m not a cop…I don’t patrol the streets and I have no desire at my age to do so..maybe you should look at those committing the crimes and go after them….just an observation here but without the criminals there would be no crimes and without the weak spined politicians who voted for the early release of convicted criminals we wouldn’t be having this conversation!!! So Tim…there’s my answer now go back to torturing someone else andlet people with real opinions and less agendas have real conversations.

  17. Tim T

    Very funny again… No substance yet very funny….I love how you stalk my every post. I find it comical. Please look into doing standup..

  18. LWitherspoon

    @Joanne Romano

    We are all aware of and grateful for your record of service to the City of Norwalk, our troops, and other charitable activities. I hope the attention-seeking antics of certain individuals who post here do not distract you from all those positive activities.

  19. Sick of Tim T

    After reading this and the DVNorwalk, all I can say is…Isn’t there a way to block Tim T?

    He doesn’t add any insight or has an intelligent thought posted. He has complained to block someone else because they were picking on him (waa…waaa)

    ALL the websites should block HIS boo-hoo bullying crap.

  20. Norwalk Spectator

    @ Spoon and Joanne Romano –

    It’s clear that the certain individual Spoon mentioned in her post thinks that this is all about him rather than the fact that others may be communicating back and forth about the issue.

  21. Joanne Romano

    @ Spoon and Spectator-what T says is nothing more than laughable at best and anyone who takes him/her with even a grain of salt really needs their head examined…believe me, just because I stepped down from the council in no way means I will not continue to do my fundraising for the troops and do whatever else is needed of me from those who ask…or if I see that something needs to be done I will most definately do it. Unlike others, I do not need to puff out my chest and herald my own praises to do what is right in my own way! I like the fact that people are free to discuss issues on individual news articles until each and every one is hijacked by so crazy person without a clue!

  22. Joanne Romano

    Nancy…you need an edit button here for those of us who type too fast and don’t catch errors…

  23. Suzanne

    More important than an edit button, people with some better sense than to take personal arguments into a public forum. The name of this article is “Norwalk Dem Files Papers for Mayor.” Now, wouldn’t it be nice with all of your bickering you would be commenting on that? (That’s a collective “you” – you know who you are and we are certainly getting a taste of it. Really, grow up.)

  24. Joanne Romano

    Duly noted Suzanne and I grew up a long time ago but I shall take your advice anyway since you took “you collectively” to task, kindly look at my reasoning for addressing “T” on this matter since he is always so negative and rude I feel someone needs to take him to task periodically!

  25. Tim T

    I love how the idiots that disagree with me would like to stifle free speech. It seems this is a trait of the Norwalk Republicans. I have a suggestion if you don’t like my posts don’t read them. I do realize that the group that I am referring to is very simple mined but I bet you clowns could even figure that out.

    As far as Joanne goes I consider her comical and irrelevant so her posts are mostly for entertainment. I also consider it a compliment that she stalks my posts. I will patiently be waiting for a reply from all of you as I know how the Republicans are in that they just hate it when another point of view makes them look foolish

  26. Tim T

    Joanne is just mad at me because I called her out as being full of HOT AIR. She wrote a speech about crime to one of these sites and I informed her that we didn’t need speech’s that we needed action. I challenged her to do something about it as council person such as contacting the FBI or the State PD to assist the NPD which clearly is not getting the job done. She in turn gave yet another speech. I understand that she would not go against the GREAY OZ who claims ALL IS WELL ALL IS WELL and for years stated that Norwalk did not have a gang issues along with Rilling stating the same.. She claims that she does not follow but leads but I also consider that typical political HOT AIR.

  27. Tim T

    I do however agree with Joanne on one thing that we could use an edit button and maybe a reply button.

    1. I’ve forwarded the request to my web designer. I don’t know how difficult that is.

  28. Joanne Romano

    Thanks Nancy, it does help except I doubt I will be commenting here any longer since some people feel they have a right to use a moniker when insulting people on every news media they can find. I feel that these people have been allowed way to much freedom to trash, destroy and disrespect and should have the hutspa to use their own names if they feels their comments are justified.

  29. Suzanne

    Joanne, I attempted to get someone removed from a particular comments section on The Daily Voice where the divisiveness had become so great, the topic of origin had been lost. There are rules posted with The Hour and Daily Voice about what is and is not acceptable discourse but, apparently, they don’t really mean it.

    Here is the reply I received from Matt Zalaznick, Managing Editor: Thanks for contacting us. I understand your concern. We like our comments section to be an open forum and that sometimes results in comments that not everyone appreciates. Having dealt with these types of comments for many years and having had them directed at me, my websites and my reporters, my advice is to just ignore comments like this and not let them ruin the robust side of the conversation that is taking place.

    I think that is the only real tool we have if we want to discuss anything civilly. Ignore it or blast them with irrefutable facts.

    Finally, I don’t think full public identity disclosure is necessary if the participation is topic oriented and/or trying to reorient the conversation to what the article upon which comments are being made is about.

  30. Joanne Romano

    Funny the daily Voice said that since I chastised someone who had continuously trashed me and they removed my posts! I just find nastiness and untruths distasteful and Unnecessary

  31. Oldtimer

    It is so easy to find fault. Vinny just announced, and already there are people complaining he did not include a full platform with that announcement. I do not expect big differences between any of the Democrats platforms in their goals, but some differences in the methods they plan to use to achieve those goals. I know all four possible candiodates, some better than others, and they are all good people. Anna seems to think their will be a primary. I am hoping one candidate gets the nomination without a primary. In my opinion primaries tend to benefit the opposing party. They sure didn’t help Romney.

  32. Tim T

    Old Timer you are correct
    “I am hoping one candidate gets the nomination without a primary. In my opinion primaries tend to benefit the opposing party. They sure didn’t help Romney.”
    Hopefully all can rally behind the best candidate which I think is Andy. However I will be happy to see anyone but Moccia or Rilling as Mayor.

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