Norwalk mayoral hopefuls sum things up

NORWALK, Conn. – With the Norwalk Democratic Town Committee set to hold its nominating convention Tuesday night at City Hall, it seems fitting that we should bring you the closing statements from the mayoral candidates at June’s NDTC mayoral forum.

The four candidates – Andy Garfunkel, Vinny Mangiacopra, Harry Rilling and Matt Miklave – were each given two minutes to make their closing pitch to the committee members and others in the City Hall Common Council Chambers as to why they were most deserving of the party’s endorsement moving forward in a bid to unseat incumbent Republican Richard Moccia.

All four candidates have previously said that, regardless of who comes away with the party’s backing, they intend to force a primary election in September.

Each candidate took a different tone, starting with Garfunkel, whose 2011 bid to unseat Moccia fell about 800 votes short. Garfunkel talked about what he had learned in that first try, and said he has the fire and intensity to “win this fight.”

“It’s time to leave your problems at home and come together for the common good,” he told the sometimes fractious party. He said the Democratic Party stands for helping people “who don’t have a voice.”

Mangiacopra focused primarily on November and taking down Moccia. “People out there are tired,” he said. “They’re tired of it, the same approach by the same people. That’s the great opportunity we have in this election. We have the opportunity to change the landscape in the city in one election.”

Rilling said he thinks Norwalk “is poised for greatness. Norwalk used to be a destination. It can be a destination again.” He said the city can continue along with the status quo – “stagnation,” he called it – or it can “take the road to a Norwalk that can be great again.”

It was Miklave, speaking last, who turned up the intensity. Miklave, who has a lucrative law practice in New York City and has said many times he would be taking a huge financial hit to serve as mayor, has not been seen as a front-runner in the field, a position generally ascribed to Rilling and Mangiacopra. But, he said, voters should not be making their decision based on who they think, at this point, might have the best chance of knocking off the incumbent.

“If you vote your hopes, and you vote for what’s right,” he said, “no matter what happens, we as a party will win the day.”

See the full closing speeches in the video above.



4 responses to “Norwalk mayoral hopefuls sum things up”

  1. piberman

    Another lost opportunity. What are their respective platforms ? How do they plan to achieve their goals and visions ? Where is Norwalk failing ? What needs be done ? Not a single mention that the BOE’s selection of a nationally prominent new Superintendent can be a powerful game changer for Norwalk.

    How can the Party make a thoughtful endorsement without knowing in detail the candidates’ platform, goals and objectives ?

    1. Mark Chapman


      Just to clarify, these four speeches were limited to two minutes and were closing remarks after the candidates answered questions at a forum in June. We ran several other clips of the candidates responding to the questions. The event was held well before the choice for superintendent was finalized.

  2. Tim T

    Rilling will get the endorsement. The day he entered the race Brown and the DTC as much as said it. The Rilling campaign seems to have people brainwashed. They seem to forget the nightmare he was a chief and the scandal after scandal at the NPD when he was chief. One would think his lack of leadership in regards to “Amanda Brown gate” and his failure to condemn the violence would have reminded people about Rilling the king of excuses. I had a back and forth with a poster on this site and provided her with numerous failures of Rilling and the NPD under his watch and she simply ignored the facts and went on supporting Rilling. This is what the Rilling campaign depends upon blind followers with long term memory issues…SHEEP.



  3. Piberman

    Mea culpa Mark. Maybe after the primaries we’ll have some insights about their platforms. Citizens seeking spending restraint and lower taxes so far are not encouraged. But we are moving “forward” at least towards the election. And that is “progress”.

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