Norwalk election notes: Serasis, Thomson and District D Dems

William Pappa, left, at the Democratic Town Committee convention, July 20 on City Hall.

Correction,1:26 pm: DTC met on July 20. Editor’s note: This story was mistakenly posted Sunday and then removed to allow for the editing that had been planned, before going up on Monday. A comment was also removed because it applied to the draft, not the finished story. NancyOnNorwalk apologizes for the error. 

NORWALK, Conn. – Here’s a smattering of election  news this Monday:

  • A Dem-Republican-independent mayoral debate?
  • Serasis undecided on continued reelection-bid
  • Cahn says support for Thomson is ‘positive’
  • District D Democratic Council candidates

A three-way mayoral debate?

Mayor Harry Rilling is open to debating Lisa Brinton Thomson along with Republican Andy Conroy this fall, should State Rep. Bruce Morris (D-140) fall by the wayside and he remain the Democratic candidate.

Morris is seeking signatures to primary Rilling; Conroy has been endorsed by Republicans and Thomson has enough signatures to be on the ballot as an independent candidate.

“Whoever organizes the debates will determine who will participate. I will accept whatever they decide,” Mayor Harry Rilling said in a Monday email. Republican-endorsed mayoral candidate Andy Conroy did not respond to an email asking if he’d debate the independent candidate.

Thomson is interested in debating her mayoral opponents this fall, campaign director James Cahn said.

Cahn cited Thomson’s history as a League of Women Voters member organizing debates.

“In the past, it’s been Lisa who has had a large presence and role in facilitating candidate forums and debates. Lisa knows how crucial those events are and she knows that Norwalk voters are owed them,” Cahn said.


Cahn: It’s not a vendetta

Cahn was slated to be a Zoning Commissioner last year, but Rilling pulled the nomination. Last week, he said that incident had nothing to do with his assistance to Thomson.

“Being involved in a campaign as some sort of personal vendetta is amateur hour and disrespectful to the stakeholders of Norwalk,” Cahn said. “We’re running a campaign rooted in positive energy. As a team, we check in with each other on that. Before I got involved, I made very sure to that I was teaming up WITH Lisa rather than AGAINST any other candidates. I’m managing Lisa’s campaign because she asked me to, because I believe in her and frankly because of the caliber of people and resources that she’s already brought to the team. In strategy meetings, I sit across the table from serious talent that wouldn’t be involved together in any other way but for Lisa.”


Serasis thinking about it

Common Council member Steve Serasis (D-District A) was not endorsed by the Democratic Town Committee at its July 20 convention, leaving him with a decision to make.

Serasis could get enough signatures to force a primary, or he could petition onto the ballot this fall as an independent candidate.

“Many in my immediate community, because I’m out in it quite often have been encouraging me to seek re-election,” Serasis said in a Friday email. “However, with a variety of running options, and a few existing non-political variables, I have yet to reach a decision either way.”

On Friday, Serasis, on Facebook, touted a business success.

“FB friends that have been following my Musictochina eight year start-up US-China joint venture journey…the last 48 hours have been absolutely great! With major news. I can’t give any details. However, the next three months may prove to be beyond expectations. When others don’t believe in you. God will believe in you…Never stop believing in yourself,” Serasis wrote.

District A is likely to have a Democratic primary either way, as Kadeem Rashied Roberts picked up petitions to challenge DTC-endorsed candidates Chris Yerinedes and incumbent Council member Eloisa Melendez.


District D Dems

Norwalk Dems endorsed William Pappa and George Tsiranides as their District D Council candidates, who will compete against Republican incumbents Shannon O’Toole Giandurco and Doug Hempstead.

Tsiranides is partner at SoNo Academy, a South Norwalk hair salon. He was listed as a Republican when Rilling appointed him to the Planning Commission a year ago, coincidentally at the same time as Cahn’s debacle.

Pappa explained his background in a letter of intent to the district:

“I am an Account Executive for SiriusDecisions, a consulting and advisory firm based in Wilton.  Previously, I have held both individual contributor roles, as well as leadership roles, within both a large Fortune 1000 corporation, as well as several small businesses. I hold a Bachelor of Science from the Gabelli School of Business from Fordham University.

“I have over nine years of partnering with C-suite teams to develop and deploy enterprise-level strategies that create value and drive growth.  I have proven success in consulting with client decision makers to assess needs, define custom solutions, and deliver value-added, strategic insights that increase satisfaction, retention, and expansion.  I have experience working with a wide variety of businesses including technology, retail, healthcare, hospitality, industrial, and food service.  I would like to bring this experience, and success, to the council, and Norwalk at large.”

Biographies on Republican candidates are not yet available, said Conroy, Republican Town Committee chairman.


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