Norwalk Dem slate set to go

From left, Democratic Norwalk Common Council members John Igneri, Chris Yerinedes and Eloisa Melendez, and expected Council candidate Lisa Shanahan. Melendez, Yerinides and Igneri are not running for reelection; Shanahan said that as soon as she heard Igneri wasn’t running, she stepped up for his District E seat.

The election is Nov. 5.

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk Democrats have formed a slate of candidates, Chairman Ed Camacho said.

The slate does not include Council incumbents John Igneri, Eloisa Melendez or Chris Yerinides. Instead, newcomer Lisa Shanahan is seeking to represent District E along with incumbent Tom Livingston, and Kadeem Roberts and David Heuvelman are lined up to represent District A. Also new to what’s been previously reported is Godfrey Azima as a District A Board of Education candidate.

Norwalk Republicans did not respond to a Thursday email asking if they have an updated list of candidates. Both parties meet Monday evening to endorse a slate.

Camacho shared this list:

Mayor Harry Rilling

Council District A

Council District B

  • Darlene Young (incumbent)
  • Ernie Dumas (incumbent)

Council District C

Council District D

Council District E

  • Thomas Livingston (incumbent)
  • Lisa Shanahan


Council At Large

  • Greg Burnett (incumbent)
  • Colin Hosten (incumbent)
  • Nick Sacchinelli (incumbent)
  • Barbara Smyth (incumbent)
  • Manny Langella


Board of Education:

  • District A: Godfrey Azima
  • District B: Sherelle Harris (Former BoE member)
  • District C: Diana Carpio
  • District D: Erica DePalma
  • District E: Mike Barbis (incumbent)


District E isn’t set, as the District E Committee meets Monday evening ahead of the nominating convention to recommend candidates. Camacho said he expects the Democratic Town Committee to “vote in accordance with the stated preferences of each of the districts.”

Most of the candidates have been written about previously; click on links above to learn more.

Azima is a member of the Tracey Elementary School Governance Council. He did not respond to efforts to contact him.

Shanahan wrote:

“As you undoubtedly know, Norwalk is one of the fastest growing cities in Connecticut.  While that growth is exciting and welcome, growth brings its own challenges for a uniquely historical city such as Norwalk. I would like to see our City continue to grow, and to grow wisely.   My priorities for our City include:


  •  “attracting and retaining young families in our City by providing excellent school systems and stable property values
  • “attracting good paying jobs to our City that will provide our citizens with strong career opportunities and benefits
  • “maximizing our open spaces for our sports teams, recreation and  responsible conservation
  • “budgeting in a fiscally responsible way so that our City infrastructure is well-tended and needed City services are provided while not allowing our taxes and fees to rise unduly.”


Shanahan said she grew up in Norwalk, attending the St. Joseph’s Parish, Rowayton Elementary and Roton Middle schools. After earning a law degree in 1984 at the University of Pennsylvania, she joined the Chicago office of McDermott Will & Emery, an international law firm. After her first daughter was born, she moved to The Northern Trust Company in 1992, then retired in the late 90s to raise her two daughters and begin a “volunteer” career, moving back to Norwalk part time in 2001 and then full-time in 2007.

“I have been an active volunteer in Norwalk ever since, serving on the boards of Shakespeare on the Sound, The Rowayton Library (Secretary and VP), the Rowayton Gardeners (VP for two terms, Treasurer for two terms, and Secretary) and the Norwalk Land Trust,” she wrote. “I was appointed to the Norwalk Conservation Commission by Mayor Harry Rilling in the winter of 2019. I have volunteered in a myriad of capacities for my Dartmouth College class since my graduation in 1980.”

She wrote:

“I believe that public engagement is absolutely critical for good government. This engagement starts with meeting our District residents, listening to and understanding their concerns, benefiting from the expertise of City staff and others, and translating those concerns and recommendations into good public policy.

“I feel confident that my professional and volunteer experiences will prove me to be a good listener for our District, a hardworking and thoughtful problem solver, and, consequently, an excellent decision maker as a councilwoman.”

Igneri, who was first elected to the Council in 2011, did not reply to an email asking why he’s not running for reelection.

“I’ve had some personal life changes, and do not want to commit to another term at the moment, as it would be unfair to the District,” Yerinides, a first-time Council member, wrote. “There are many qualified active people in District A, and I’m excited to see what happens in the District moving forward. I have high expectations.”

Melendez, then 19, was first elected to the Council in 2013. She was the youngest council member in 36 years, and one of only two Latino elected officials in this diverse city.

She has led the Council Ordinance Committee since November 2015 and is Connecticut Democratic Party treasurer as well as Norwalk Democratic Town Committee Vice Chairwoman.

Don’t expect her to go away – she’s not going anywhere as, “I’m still going to be very involved,” she wrote.


The Norwalk Republican slate, as previously reported:

District C Council

  • Michael Foley


District C Board of Education

  • Jason Christopher


District D Board of Education

  • Bryan Meek (incumbent)


District D Council

  • Tom Keegan
  • Carl Dickens

Council at Large

  • Richard Bonenfant (former Council member)
  • Glenn Iannacone (former Council member)


Piberman July 19, 2019 at 10:10 am

Any of the candidates interested in how Westport kept taxes unchanged for 5 years ?

Any of the candidates have major business experience ?

Norwalk native July 20, 2019 at 9:09 pm

Menendez especially is an embarrassment to her party and a counterproductive impediment to her constituents. She has wasted time on ridiculous pursuits like plastic bags, while illegal apartments pile up unabated and unenforced all over the City.

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