NORWALK, Conn. — While the announcement by Norwalk’s Larry Cafero that he will not run for a 12th term in the state House of Representative has cleared the decks for Republicans to jump into the November race, potential Democratic challengers to a couple of Dem incumbents continue to fly under the radar.
Four-term incumbent state Rep. Bruce Morris (D-140) filed papers to seek re-election on Jan. 26, listing Ainsworth MacFarlane as treasurer and Mary Burgess as deputy treasurer. He will likely face a challenge from former Common Council member, South Norwalk Community Center Board of Directors Chairman and Latino community leader Warren Peña, who filed his papers as a candidate for state rep in the 140th district on Feb. 10. His treasurer is Razwan Ahmad of Trumbull.
In the 137th District, five-term incumbent Chris Perone filed his papers for a sixth term on Jan. 10, with Norwalkers Mary Geake as treasurer and her husband, Mike Geake, as deputy treasurer. The Geakes replaced David Jaeger, who resigned in anticipation of running for chairman of the Democratic Town Committee. That run never happened.
Perone is likely to be opposed by two-term Common Councilman David Watts (D-District A), who filed exploratory committee papers nearly a year ago and has been vocal about his intention to run for office, although without specifying who he would run against. His wife, Kathleen Watts, is listed as his treasurer.
In January, Watts accused Perone and Norwalk Democratic Registrar Stuart Wells of colluding to change the (council) district dynamics of the district’s representation on the Democratic Town Committee.
The dust-up came a week after a story appeared in which Watts discussed his fund-raising for an unspecified office, and Perone acknowledged hearing that Watts would likely challenge him in a primary.
If Watts does intend to run against Perone, he will have to establish residence in the 137th District. Watts currently resides in the 142nd District – Cafero’s district – and that race is already crowded, with Democrat Andy Garfunkel and Republican Emily Wilson as declared candidates and Republican Fred Wilms, who filed exploratory committee papers in February, considering a challenge.