NORWALK, Conn. – It’s party time in Norwalk.
No, not that kind of party, although the Oyster Festival is right around the corner.
As reported on The Hour’s website Thursday night, a third political party entered the mayoral fray when Democratic Town Committee member Peter Thor filed papers to run as a candidate for the Working Families Party.
Or did he?
The Hour quoted Town Clerk Rick McQuaid as saying that, as a minority party, the Working Families Party has until Sept. 4 to nominate a candidate, and the party can switch candidates after the filing. Thor said, according to The Hour, that he was serving as a placeholder and that the party would likely nominate someone for real after the Sept. 10 Democratic primary.
OK, so this isn’t like a brand new party has sprung up to challenge the establishment. The WFP has a history of backing Democrats, and endorsed Andy Garfunkel in his 2011 bid to unseat Mayor Richard Moccia.
But will the party endorse this year’s Democratic nominee? This is where the party game starts.
Thor nominated former Norwalk Police Chief Harry Rilling for mayor at the DTC nominating convention in July. That would seem to indicate the WFP might back Rilling and give him a second line if he is the nominee.
What if he’s not?
One Democratic Party insider said the WFP would “never” back Matt Miklave, the common councilman who is one of the four Democrats on the ballot Sept. 10.
But what of Vinny Mangiacopra, who has assembled an impressive campaign war chest and is, along with Rilling, regarded as a frontrunner for the nomination?
Miklave, Mangiacopra and Rilling have all said they would support whoever wins the primary. But Garfunkel equivocated, saying “I would like to, but that remains to be seen.”
Speculation is a time-honored tradition when it comes to politics. It’s what fills much of the broadcast time for several cable networks. Most of the time, the speculation is off base. This may well turn out to be just another case of wild speculation.
But isn’t it fun?
So will the WFP back another Garfunkel run if it isn’t happy with the Democratic nominee? Or is Thor a placeholder for Rilling should the ex-chief come up short? After listening to the four Democrats, has the WFP decided to find an alternative? Has the party decided to give Moccia one more turn? Or is it all simply a technical maneuver to save a ballot spot for whoever the Dems pick?
Let us know what you think in the comment section.