Peña: Mangiacopra should be Norwalk’s next mayor

Common Councilman Warren Peña, left, said District D Chairman Vinny Mangiacopra should become the Democratic Party challenger to Republican Mayor Richard Moccia.

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk mayoral candidate Vinny Mangiacopra has scored an endorsement from Councilman Warren Peña.

“From the time I met Vinny he has been a leader in our party and is not afraid to take on the tough battles,” Peña said in a press release. “Norwalk is in desperate need of new leadership and a fresh approach. There is only one candidate in the race that offers those qualities and that is Vinny Mangiacopra.”

Peña is one of 35 Democratic Town Committee members who will vote at the July convention for a candidate to represent the Democratic party as a challenger to Republican Mayor Richard Moccia in November. A candidate only needs 18 votes to win, but that nominee can be challenged by anyone who gets enough signatures on a petition. With three other men vying for the nomination, observers predict a primary in September.

Peña, a leader of Norwalk’s Hispanic community and president of the South Norwalk Community Center, said he is confident that Mangiacopra is the man to beat Moccia.

“One of the important elements of Vinny’s campaign is that he is drawing support from all different parts of our community,” he said in the press release. “Norwalk’s diversity is part of what makes our city great and I’ve been very grateful to see that Vinny is eager to represent us all. I’m confident his administration will be shaped in the same manner, and it’s long past due that we have that kind of leadership in City Hall.”

Peña will be introducing Mangiacopra at his mayoral campaign kickoff event on Saturday, May 4, in Fera Park, across the street from the former YMCA. The 3 p.m. kickoff will include a family picnic with free refreshments and sandwiches, the press release said.

Campaign worker Will Sharry said the park is a great place to have the kickoff, and not only because spring is here.

“Holding it in a public park serves as a nice venue for Vinny to talk about all the issues facing Norwalk,” he said. With the wasteland that is 95/7 down the road and the closed YMCA across the street, the candidate will have plenty of visual help making his points, he said.

Mangiacopra said in the release that he was excited to gain the first council endorsement of any Democratic candidate in the race.

“This is an exciting day for our campaign,” Mangiacopra said in the release. “Councilman Peña is an exceptional leader and I am honored to have his support. Warren and I are like minded in that the status-quo has to change and I look forward to working alongside him for years to come.”


20 responses to “Peña: Mangiacopra should be Norwalk’s next mayor”

  1. BARIN

    I don’t think Vinny has the name recognition amongst most Norwalk voters.
    If his name is with moccia’s people tend to vote for the familiar name.
    You want moccia out, let Rilling be the one, whether you like him or not, he has the best chance to win.
    What if Vinny loses to moccia, then what, don’t be foolish and waste the opportunity to win in November.
    Everyone agrees Vinny is young so that gives him a chance to run down the road after the Dems win THIS election.

  2. Asa H.M.

    Just wondering…What “tough battles” has he taken on that we know of? Does being the head of the district on the DTC constitute enough experience to make him a “leader” in our community? Sorry, but I think Vinny needs several more years of working for the citizens here in Norwalk to prove his abilities before he has enough experience to take on managing this city as Mayor.

  3. Harold

    This is a good sign for us in Norwalk. Can you feel the change coming in like a breath of fresh air?

  4. LWitherspoon

    Wow! Pena serves alongside Matt Miklave on the Common Council, yet Pena endorses a kid with little to no accomplishments over Miklave for Mayor. What’s the real story there?

  5. Vinny has the fire, and we wish him well in future elections. Right now, Harry Rilling has the name recognition locally, across the state and nationally, plus huge experience in leadership and the gravitas to make a mayor to make Norwalk proud.

  6. ScopeonNorwalk

    Rilling has bad name recognition amongst a lot of Norwalkers. They might know his name but they also know to run in the opposite direction of him and his buddy Bobby Burgess.

  7. Tom

    Here we go again…The Dems falling out of the frying pan and into the fire. You can rest assured that young Vinny will NEVER – I repeat – NEVER beat Moccia. He is Chair of one of the Dem districts and I hear THEY don’t even like or respect him. Remember the Ernie Newton scandal? Young Vinny 2X never truly addressed his involvement in that!!!!

  8. NorwalkLifer

    Hey Tom, he’s already beating Harry. What makes you think he won’t be able to beat Moccia too?

    I’m grateful that someone in Vinny’s generation is willing to step up to the plate for his community.

  9. Tom

    BEATING HARRY??? How do you figure?? He had several months to raise funds in the first quarter, Harry had one month. Harry raised over 30K, Young Vinny raised 25K. Mostly from Bridgeport and Shelton. Remember the Hour poll?? Harry got twice as many votes as Young Vinny (32%+ to 13%+).

    I understand why he’s running; he needs a job because he doesn’t have one. … Better think again Lifer, but go ahead; throw away your vote – if it gets that far.

    (Editor’s note: This comment has been edited to conform with our comment policy.)

  10. D(ysfunctional)TC

    Amazing that all it takes is 18 insane Democrats to try and throw away the mayor’s seat this year.

  11. ScopeonNorwalk

    Correction Tom Harry had years. You think anyone decides in a month to write an $1,000 check. And it wasn’t even an impressive number or representative sample of donors for Harry.

    You have Bill Collins who I guess by his own words says Rilling was apprenticing for years. So he didn’t raise that $1,000 in a month.

    You have Camacho, Bobby Burgess’s lawyer in his gun possession trial. So he didn’t raise that $1,000 in a month.

    You have Discala another lawyer. I won’t speculate but I’m sure he didn’t raise that money in a month.

    Then you have the Gavriledis who threw Rilling an event back in 2012 for his campaign.

    Vinny was actually the last one to decide he was running and therefore had the least amount of time. Just because Rilling officially entered last doesn’t mean he didn’t start asking for money earlier.

  12. ScopeonNorwalk

    If we remember, Bobby Burgess threw Harry Rilling an exploratory committee meet and greet back in October 2012 so he has really been collecting money since then. The question is, was he collecting money without an official committee and is that legal?



  13. Harold

    Very well said Scope! And Lopez-Fabrega you are right Vinny has the fire! And Harry has the name recognition for sure but do you really think it is the right kind of name recognition? There are scores of us who know him and what he is… Harry cannnot be trusted!

  14. NorwalkVoter

    ScopeOn… you are spinning but you make no sense. If you think Harry was fundraising in advance of filing, you are accusing him of breaking the law. There was never a call made or an event held until after his late February filing and announcement. You sound like a desperate VinnyNewton follower. Go back to Bridgeport and take him with you.

  15. ScopeonNorwalk

    Whether it’s legal or not…Harry was actually a candidate in October.

    From the campaign rulebook:

    Becoming a Candidate

    A candidate is an individual who seeks nomination or election to public office, whether or not such individual is successful. An individual is deemed to be a candidate if he or she:

    1. Has solicited or received funds or other resources (personally, or through another person), or made expenditures, including expenditures from personal funds, for the purpose of bringing about such individual’s nomination or election to any office;

    So he technically became a candidate in October. Even if he did not use personal funds and someone else used funds for his behalf it made him a candidate according to SEEC. http://www.ct.gov/seec/lib/seec/publications/municipal_guide_022011_final.pdf (page 4)

    Those are the facts. And he did have an event in October at East Side Café…so just for the point of who raised more money in the given time frame Rilling does not win that.

  16. Harold

    @NorwalkVoter… Think about what you just said. Harry knew he was running for months before that late Feb filing, and gets a $1000 donations from Burgess’ lawyer. That money was GIVEN between late Feb and early Apr but EARNED way back when…..

  17. NorwalkVoter

    You couldn’t be more wrong. But as they say, once a lie is told it is impossible to disprove a negative. You are very good at spreading false claims and then swearing by them. Try to tell us next time what Vinny actually stands for. There is no answer to that because he only stands for finally getting himself a job, any job. And he is willing to take the Democrats and Norwalk down a road to destruction, along with his big buddies Warren and Watts. Two more disappointments. What promises has he made to them. They clearly are for sale.

  18. ScopeonNorwalk

    NorwalkVoter what am I wrong about? You can go to the State Elections manual yourself, the link is provided…Or do you need me to provide Nancy with the email inviting myself and other’s to Harry’s Exploratory Committee event at East Side Café on October 24th, 2012 at 5:30 so that she can post it on her blog for confirmation. I already provided the links two Hour articles with the information about the event.

  19. Tim T

    Moccia is Rilling
    Rilling is Moccia
    Mangiacopra is a Child

  20. Tom

    Hey Scope: See if you can pay attention and finally understand something. Listen up now, this may be a bit confusing but I know you might have the capacity. The event at Eastside was a “get out the vote event”. Read the newspaper reports from the next day. There were TWO potential candidates present (as was I) and neither of them announced their intention to run for office. The message that went out inviting people to the event was not authorized by Rilling or Garfunkle.
    So no matter how you try to mold a non-story to fit your misplaced support, it will not be believed by anyone with any degree of intelligence.

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