Mangiacopra, Rilling pad war chests in second quarter

Norwalk mayoral Dems Rilling Mangiacopra
Former Norwalk Police Chief Harry Rilling, left; District D Chairman Vinny Mangiacopra, right.

Updated, 11:10 p.m. with Mangiacopra information

NORWALK, Conn. – Former Norwalk Police Chief Harry Rilling has raised $22,004.99 in his mayoral campaign in the second quarter of the year, according to a press release from his campaign. In response, Norwalk’s Future Now released its own information – about $40,000 was raised from April 1 to June 30 in the effort to make District D Chairman Vinny Mangiacopra mayor.

Wednesday, July 10, is the deadline to file second-quarter fundraising reports in the town clerk’s office. Norwalk’s Future Now has not filed its paperwork yet. Rilling for Mayor filed its report Monday.

There was no word Monday night from the campaigns of their two opponents, former Town Clerk Andy Garfunkel and Councilman Matt Miklave, on their fundraising. All of the men would like to be the person to take on (and perhaps take down) Republican incumbent Mayor Richard Moccia in the November election.

Rilling’s $22,004.99 is in addition to the $30,318 the campaign raised from January to March. That is a total of $51,322.99 raised so far by the Rilling campaign.

Mangiacopra’s $40,000 comes on top of $25,533 in first-quarter fundraising, a total of about $65,500.

Rilling’s press release gives some indication of the candidate’s local support – all of Rilling’s fundraising events were held in Norwalk and 85 percent of the 168 donations came from Norwalk residents, it says.

“The Rilling campaign has raised $51,323 since February 21 based solely on volunteer requests,” the release said. “The Rilling campaign has not employed a professional finance solicitation company and therefore has not paid a percentage of every contribution to out-of‐town professional solicitors who have no connection to the Norwalk community.”

Mangiacopra campaign manager Will Sharry said no professional finance solicitation companies had been used to raise Norwalk’s Future Now’s money.

“With over 130 Norwalkers contributing to our campaign and what will likely be the most funds raised by any candidate, it’s clear our message demanding Norwalk’s Future Now is resonating,” he said in an email. “Voters are looking for a clear break from the current administration and we believe our strong fundraising is confirmation they are ready for the fresh perspective and new approach that Mr. Mangiacopra will bring City Hall.”

He didn’t say how many donors the $40,000 had come from. Mangiacopra had 232 donors in the first quarter, with 58 Norwalk residents among them.

Much of Councilman Matt Miklave’s first-quarter support came from outside Norwalk, with 21 of 59 contributors being Norwalkers. A large percentage of former Town Clerk Andy Garfunkel’s support came from his home town, with 37 of 50 contributors living in Norwalk. Garfunkel raised $5,525.15; Miklave raised $16,839.

Rilling’s campaign recently opened a headquarters at 25 Van Zant St., where volunteers phone voters and map out house-to‐house canvassing routes, the Rilling for Mayor release said.

Rilling served with the Norwalk Police department for 41 years, the last 17 years as chief. Although he said he was an active Democrat in the 1980s, he has never run for office before.

“As a first‐time candidate for elective office, I have been amazed at the generous response of so many personal friends, community activists and Democratic Party leaders in Norwalk during my fundraising efforts,” Rilling said in the release. “These results prove I will be able to raise enough funds to run a vigorous city‐wide campaign and can raise both additional funds as well as political support from the broadest cross‐section of our Norwalk community.”


27 responses to “Mangiacopra, Rilling pad war chests in second quarter”

  1. LWitherspoon

    Very impressive fundraising numbers. When sizing up the four candidates, former Chief Rilling has the strongest public service resume, strong financial support, and the best reputation built over many years serving the community. He is a law-and-order Democrat of the sort that Republicans and unaffiliated voters can see their way to supporting. He hasn’t said anything meaningful by way of specifics, but none of the candidates have at this point. So without a doubt it’s Harry Rilling that has the strongest chance of defeating Mayor Moccia in November. The DTC and Democrats who vote in the primary would be foolish to nominate anyone else.
    On the other hand, the DTC is already acting foolishly by tolerating party leaders who commit felonies and hate crimes on City property. The only mark against Rilling is that a week after the crimes occurred, he has aligned himself with that foolishness. So who knows what will happen.

  2. NorwalkDinosaur

    It will be very interesting to see what the other Democratic candidates have raised.

    A candidate’s ability to raise funds is a very clear indicator of how well they will be able to compete in November. If Miklave, and ESPECIALLY Garfunkel (a paltry $5K – what a joke) fall farther behind, they should seriously consider the viability of their campaigns.

    There is too much at stake for wannabe candidates to keep hanging around the hoop.

  3. NorwalkDinosaur

    Wow! Mangiacopra just blew the doors off Rilling’s campaign. A very impressive fundraising number. I think this makes the “front runner” the “second runner”. People have been belittling Mangiacopra for weeks, it looks like the kid has some fight in him after all.

  4. NorwalkLifer

    Unbelievable work by Mangiacopra. I think he’s our best shot at taking out Moccia.

  5. Tim T

    I don’t see how anyone could support Rilling or Mangiacopra being they failed to condemn the actions of Amanda Brown. Rilling and Mangiacopra are not leaders.

  6. Admo

    It’s been between Harry and Vinny since the beginning.Harry has a lot of baggage people associate him with Moccia and always thought he was a republican That doesn’t sit we’ll with Democrats at primary time.Also gang violence escalated under his watch. Saying that, he has name recognition nobody knows Vinny.His age is also a factor. I do t thi k it will matter who the DTC wants. We shall see . Who ever can bri g down Miccia has my vote!

  7. Don’t Panic

    Fundraising prowess has nothing to do with ability to conceive of a positive plan for the city and to implement it. Neither Mr. Rilling, nor Mr. Mangiacopra have demonstrated that they have such a plan. Mr. Milave has thought long and hard about what needs to happen to turn the city around, put it on solid financial footing and to make it a city people and businesses will continue to want to call home.

  8. Lisa Thomson

    Congratulations to Harry and Vinny on their fund raising prowess. But as we saw with Linda McMahon, money doesn’t guarantee a win. I am disappointed that both are perceived to be running ‘safe campaigns’ so far.
    That does not demonstrate leadership. The war chests will help with the ultimate fight with Moccia, but their real first hurdle is getting registered Dems to vote for them in the primary, as sadly the Party is in disarray and the spectacle last week will not help the candidate who ultimately gets the endorsement from a fractured party. It’s going to be a long, hot summer.

  9. Suzanne

    I will take the policy wonk, Miklave, over posers any day.

  10. NorwalkDinosaur

    @DontPanic, unfortunately for Mr. Miklave and Mr. Garfunkel, it has EVERYTHING to do with winning elections. If their money numbers don’t show movement they should be very concerned.

  11. NorwalkDinosaur

    @LisaThomson, you are always thoughtful and I generally agree with your comments, but not in this case. Rilling and Mangiacopra owe us more detail, but bold, out of the box ideas don’t win Democratic primaries – union support and money does. Detailed plans and reform ideas are critical for the General Election. That’s what wins over the I affiliated voters. Right now turning out the base is the only thing that matters. Unfortunately for Miklave and Garfunkel, all it takes to turn out voters in the Primary is shoe leather and DOLLARS.

  12. Lisa Thomson

    Norwalk Dinosaur – you are probably right. As an unaffiliated voter open for change, I’m disappointed in the Democratic Party. Unless, somebody starts putting meat on the bones or demonstrates some real leadership, it may be another 2 years before Norwalk sees change.

    In any event, I am pleased that there are 12 candidates across 3 parties vying for 4 At-Large slots on the BOE. Education isn’t everything, but it is 53% of our budget, impacts property values and determines whether new families want to settle in our town. I will focus my energies on flushing out those candidate’s positions on reform, regardless of party affiliation.

  13. D(ysfunctional)TC

    Vinny for Dog Catcher!!!

  14. EveT

    @LWitherspoon, re: the deplorable July 1 altercation, where do you get your information that Rilling “has aligned himself with that foolishness”? A candidate’s presence at the apology press conference does not mean the candidate condones what happened, much less “aligning himself” with it.

    Good leadership requires restraint. I admire the way Rilling has responded to this highly unfortunate incident.

  15. Suzy M

    Anybody but Vinny is better than Moccia. If Vinny is the DTC candidate, we are voting for Moccia!

  16. LWitherspoon

    I can understand Rilling’s initial statement that it would be best not to rush to judgement until all the facts are known. Such restraint is admirable. A week later, however, he should be informed enough to give his opinion on a course of action.
    Rilling stood prominently behind Amanda Brown at the apology press conference. You can see him on the video if you weren’t there yourself.
    A key purpose of the press conference was to “move past” the incident AND allow Amanda Brown and Bill Krummel to continue as leaders of the DTC, with no repercussions for their deplorable acts. By Rilling lending his presence, and not stating any opinion to the contrary, he has aligned himself with that foolishness.
    By contrast, Matt Miklave called for Brown’s resignation, albeit in a pompous and self-serving manner. Miklave did not attend the press conference. Andy Garfunkel was at the conference, but he stood to the side. Also, Garfunkel stated afterwards that elected officials must hold themselves to a much higher standard, and the people involved must face consequences because otherwise the DTC wouldn’t have credibility on key election issues. He’s right.

  17. Don’t Panic

    I stand by my comments. Lots of money is meaningful only if it is used well. Mr. Miklave has advocated for smarter use of money in government, and I would expect that this will apply to his campaign as well. Furthermore, it has very little bearing on the leadership and management skills required to run a city.

  18. NorwalkLifer

    This headline does not do Vinny justice. Vinny blew Harry away. Vinny is leading in fundraising by a long shot and that should be made clear!

  19. Asa H.M.

    Well, you know what they say…”Money doesn’t buy happiness”. Nor does it buy elections, thank goodness. Whomever wins the democratic primary on September 10 will have full financial backing of the local and state democratic machine, and money to beat Mr. Moccia will flow like a river to support a democratic win. Until then, money only buys advertising, and of course Mr. Rilling’s new office space. How much is raised at this time is really a function of how many friends you can call to donate. Each campaign can spend what their donations based on what they garner in dollars. Mr. Miklave and Mr. Garfunkel correctly chastised the DTC leadership in calling for them to step down. We may not have had all the hard facts, but the outcome of the altercation last week was obvious, and for that reason alone Mr. Rilling (who as our former Police Chief should know better and call a crime a crime) and Mr. Mangiacopra should not have hedged their bets to garner political favoritism in the upcoming Nominating Convention. I go with ideas, and at the moment the only candidate that has shown “how” to govern our city is Mr. Miklave.

  20. Broderick I. Sawyer

    Lets face it folks, all three will probably step aside just to help the party in an election year, maybe not so if it was an off year.
    At the very least it would give a lot of folks nothing else to talk about, good idea?
    If Vinny does not get the nod, how about him stepping in for Amanda if she steps aside?

  21. Tim T

    It must be that Moccia is fearful that Matt Miklave is going to get the nod as LWitherspoon is doubling up on the Miklave propaganda .

    Vinny has no chance or experience to be mayor as he is a child. Rilling was a nightmare as police chief with his department involved in one scandal after the next. Rilling and Vinny’s failure to condemn the Amanda Brown incident have proven what most already know that they are not leader.
    The only true qualified contenders are Matt and Andy.

  22. NorwalkDinosaur

    @TimT, you keep calling Vinny a child, but he is running a very grown up campaign. He and Rilling are the clear front runners in this race. Garfunkel has absolutely nothing to say and has run an embarrassing campaign (disorganized, lackluster, void of any intelligent thought, etc.). Miklave is going to be left with his book of solutions (the ones he has not implemented in his time on the council) and no votes come September. Don’t count Mangiacopra out. Like it or not he’s here to stay.

  23. D(ysfunctional)TC

    Vinny should get a real job and some real world experience before assuming he can run this city or that residents would elect him. He couldn’t even win sheriff and has only demonstrated his ability to fundraise from outside influences who would see Norwalk become the next Bridgeport. He should run for council first and learn how the city works. Period.

  24. Tim T

    Vinny the child is running a campaign with ZERO substance. His campaign reminds me of that of a high school class president. He is not even mature enough to take a stand again the Amanda Brown issue and condemn it. He also reminds me of a used car salesman . Tell me what exactly has he said he is going to do for Norwalk as in goal ?? How will he accomplish those goals ? What experience does he have to accomplish the goals? Please tell us because at this point I am trying to figure out who would be the bigger disaster for Norwalk Rilling, Moccia or Vinny.

  25. loveforthecity

    None of these guys have a shot in a Democratic Primary against Mangiacopra. Watch his guy flourish right underneath your eyes!

  26. oldtimer

    Vinny’s fund raising is certainly impressive and demonstrates his skills at running a campaign. It is going to take a lot of work, all over town, to win a primary and the subsequent election. My money is on Harry because I know his ability and recognition, in every district, is an advantage. If the two of them work well together, Vinny would be a shoo-in to succeed Harry when the time comes.

  27. D(ysfunctional)TC

    Vinny’s sense of entitlement immediately disqualifies him from EVER being Mayor of this city. He should either a. get a real job first for one time in his life. b. run a successful local business that creates jobs or adds value to the city. c. try running for council or even sitting on a board for a few years to learn about the city. An outsider without any type of local resume, will never be elected Mayor of this city even if he married into local money.

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