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Registrars update Tuesday’s election results, correcting data

From left, Then-District D Common Council candidates Bryan Meek (R/I) Heather Dunn (I/R) and Jan Deigenshein (D) at the recent League of Women Voters of Norwalk forum.

Updated: Final results

Norwalk registrars have released corrected vote totals for Tuesday’s election and confirmed that a recount will be held for the District D Common Council race.

Absentee ballots were not included in the results released Wednesday.

The new, officially “final,” totals show that Mayor Harry Rilling won with 55.453% of the vote. Republican challenger Vinny Scicchitano, while falling short, did significantly better than Republican challenger Jonathan Riddle did two years ago.

  • 2023: Rilling had 55.5% of the vote
  • 2021: Rilling had 63.6% of the vote
  • 2019: Rilling had 55.5% of the vote
  • 2017: Rilling had 56% of the vote
  • 2015: Rilling had 62.1% of the vote

In 2021, 14,232 ballots were cast in the Mayor’s race. On Tuesday, 15,119 were cast.

District C Council results have been corrected to show Democratic candidate Melissa Murray received 171 Working Families Party votes, not the 976 WFP votes originally recorded. This did not change the outcome.

The District D recount will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the City Hall community room, Democratic Registrar Stuart Wells said.

The pre-recount tally:

  • Doug Sutton, Democrat, 1,977 votes
  • Heather Dunn, Independent/Republican 1,917 votes
  • Jan Degenshein, Democrat, 1,903
  • Bryan Meek, Republican/Independent 1,893 votes

As just over 4,000 electors cast ballots in the District D Council race, a recount is automatic given the required margin for an automatic recount is .5%, or 21 votes in this case, Wells said.

“The margin between Dunn (the lowest winner) and Degenshein (the highest unsuccessful candidate) is 14 votes. Therefore the head moderators have declared that a recount will be held,” Wells said. “The recount involves all candidates, i.e. all of the votes are recounted for the race.”

Of the 55,957 people eligible to vote Tuesday, 15,518 did, or 27.7%, according to the paperwork. Fifty-two people voted via Election Day Registration; 732 absentee ballots were cast, of which nine were rejected. Three overseas ballots were cast and accepted.

Charter revision passed with 87.9% of the vote.

The results:

Mayor’s race
  • Harry Rilling, 8,384 votes, or 55.5% (winner)
    • 8,026 votes on the Democratic line
    • 358 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • Vinny Scicchitano, Republican, 6,735 votes
Town Clerk
  • Richard McQuaid, Democrat 8,595 votes
  • Richard McQuaid, Republican 5,864 votes
Council at-Large
  • Barbara Smyth, 8,177 votes (winner)
    • 7,647 votes on the Democratic line
    • 530 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • Josh Goldstein, 7,961 votes (winner)
    • 7,487 votes on the Democratic line
    • 474 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • Nora Niedzielski-Eichner, 7,797 votes (winner)
    • 7,365 votes on the Democratic line
    • 432 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • Gregory Burnett, 7,581 votes (winner)
    • 7,178 votes on the Democratic line
    • 403 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • Johan Lopez, 7,533 votes (winner)
    • 7,114 votes on the Democratic line
    • 419 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • Richard Bonenfant, 6,689 votes
    • 5,815 votes on the Republican line
    • 874 votes on the Independent line
  • Glenn Iannacone, Republican, 5,785 votes
  • John Levin, Republican, 5,486 votes
  • Luis Estrella, Republican, 5,079 votes
  • Enrique Santiago, Republican, 4,977 votes
  • Erik T. Anderson, Independent, 916 votes
  • Jo Bennett, Independent, 912 votes
  • Patricia Venneri Agudow, Independent, 861 votes
  • Eric Vitaglione, Independent, 709 votes
Council, District A
  • Jalin Sead, 1,548 votes (winner)
    • 1,373 votes on the Democratic line
    • 175 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • Nicol Ayers, Democrat, 1,343 votes (winner)
  • Tricia Massucco, 980 votes
    • 846 votes on the Republican line
    • 134 votes on the Independent line
Council, District B
  • Darlene Young, 976 votes (winner)
    • 920 votes on the Democratic line
    • 56 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • Dajuan Wiggins, Democrat, 960 votes (winner)
  • Donna Smirniotopoulos, 388 votes
    • 298 votes on the Republican line
    • 90 votes on the Independent line
Council, District C
  • Jennifer McMurrer, 1,896 votes (winner)
    • 1,659 votes on the Democratic line
    • 237 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • Melissa Murray, 1,813 votes (apparent winner)
    • 1,642 votes on the Democratic line
    • 171 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • Read Auerbach, Republican, 1,658 votes
  • Carl Cooke, Independent, 296
Council, District D
  • Doug Sutton, Democrat, 1,977 votes (winner)
  • Heather Dunn, 1,917 votes
    • 1,705 votes on the Republican line
    • 212 votes on the Independent line
  • Jan Degenshein, Democrat, 1,903
  • Bryan Meek, 1,893 votes
    • 1,703 votes on the Republican line
    • 190 votes on the Independent line
Council, District E
  • Lisa Shanahan, 2,161 votes (winner)
    • 2,053 votes on the Democratic line
    • 108 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • James Frayer, Democrat, 1,990 votes (winner)
  • Ernest DesRochers, 1,287 votes
    • 1,109 votes on the Republican line
    • 178 votes on the Independent line
  • Jay Parisi, Republican, 1,073 votes
  • Denise Brown, Independent, 213
Board of Education, District A
  • Samantha Pleasants, Democrat, 1,366 votes (winner)
  • Alexandra Kemeny, 944 votes
    • 798 votes on the Republican line
    • 146 votes on the Independent line
Board of Education, District B
  • Howard White, Democrat, 913 votes (winner)
  • Rasheemah Richardson, 356 votes
    • 267 votes on the Republican line
    • 69 votes on the Independent line
Board of Education, District C
  • Diana Carpio, 1,784 votes (winner)
    • 1,653 votes on the Democratic line
    • 131 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • Nicole Hampton, 1,658 votes
    • 1,477 votes on the Republican line
    • 181 votes on the Independent line
Board of Education, District D
  • Ashley Gulyas, 2,000 votes (winner)
    • 1,873 votes on the Democratic line
    • 127 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • Doug Hempstead, Republican, 1,858 votes
Board of Education, District E
  • Mary Ellen Flaherty-Ludwig, 2,256 votes
City Treasurer
  • Donna King, Democrat, 8,465 votes (winner)
  • John P. Cardamone, Sr., Republican, 6,081 votes
City Sheriff
  • Robert Burgess, Democrat, 7,772 votes (winner)
  • Ronald Paladino, Republican, 5,714 votes
  • Katherine Price Snedaker, Independent, 1,072 votes
Selectman
  • Andy Garfunkel, Democrat, 8,066 votes (winner)
  • Samuel Pride, Democrat, 7,165 votes (winner)
  • Kathryn Martino, Republican, 5,175 votes
  • Shannon O’Toole Giandurco, Republican, 5,159 votes
  • Joseph Tamburi, Independent, 1,099 votes
  • David Davidson, Independent, 791 votes
Constable
  • Darius Williams, Democrat, 7,309 votes (winner)
  • Ernest Dumas, Democrat, 7,287 votes (winner)
  • Jalin Sead, Democrat, 7,180 votes (winner)
  • Johnnie Mae Weldon, Democrat, 7,166 votes (winner)
  • Peter Bondi, Republican, 5,305 votes (winner)
  • Ray Cooke, Republican, 5,191 votes (winner)
  • Greg Helms, Republican, 4,910 votes (winner)
  • Jeffrey Dewitt, Republican, 4,788 votes
  • Tysen Canaveri, Independent, 1,342 votes
  • Joseph Tamberi, Independent, 1,283 votes
  • Erik Anderson, Independent, 1,035 votes
  • Jeffrey Rollings, Independent, 843 votes
First Taxing District Treasurer
  • Rosa Murray, Democrat, 941 votes (winner)
  • John Miller, Republican, 448 votes
First Taxing District Commissioner
  • Thomas Cullen, Republican, 678 votes
Second Taxing District Commissioner
  • David Westmoreland, Democrat, 762 votes (winner)
  • Sonja Oliver, Democrat, 757 votes
  • Maria Borges Lopez, 250 votes
Second Taxing District Treasurer
  • Darlene Young, Democrat, 844 votes (winner)
Third Taxing District Commissioner
  • Pamela Parkington, 1,469 votes
    • 778 votes on the Democratic line
    • 691 votes on the Republican line
Third Taxing District Treasurer
  • Read Auerbach, Republican, 986 votes
Sixth Taxing District Commissioner
  • Jody Sattler, Democrat, 703 votes
Sixth Taxing District Treasurer
  • Gilbert Kernan, Republican, 487 votes
Charter revision
  • Yes, 8,823 votes
  • No, 1,219 votes

Original story:

Registrars release Tuesday’s election results

From left, Then-District D Common Council candidates Bryan Meek (R/I) Heather Dunn (I/R) and Jan Deigenshein (D) at the recent League of Women Voters of Norwalk forum.

Norwalk registrars have submitted election results to the Secretary of State. Democratic Registrar Stuart Wells said, “there is a bit to add tomorrow, and a lot of double checking.”

Results show a tight race for Common Council in District D, where Independent/Republican candidate Heather Dunn has bested Democratic candidate Jan Degenshein for the second place slot by 18 votes. Incumbent Council member Bryan Meek is last, by six votes. Democratic candidate Doug Sutton is soundly on top.

Wells said there will probably be a recount.

One possible data point subject to double checking is the Working Families Party tally assigned to Council C candidate Melissa Murray; the reported 976 votes is well out of line of the WFP pattern.

Of the 55,987 people eligible to vote Tuesday, 14,779 did, or 26.4%, according to the paperwork. Fifty-two people voted via Election Day Registration.

Charter revision passed with 87.9% of the vote.

The results:

Mayor’s race
  • Harry Rilling, 8,083 votes, or 54.8%(winner)
    • 7,699 votes on the Democratic line
    • 384 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • Vinny Scicchitano, Republican, 6,669 votes
Town Clerk
  • Richard McQuaid, Democrat 8,444 votes
  • Richard McQuaid, Republican 5,772 votes
Council at-Large
  • Barbara Smyth, 8,037 votes (winner)
    • 7,519 votes on the Democratic line
    • 518 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • Josh Goldstein, 7820 votes (winner)
    • 7,359 votes on the Democratic line
    • 461 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • Nora Niedzielski-Eichner, 7,655 votes (winner)
    • 7,240 votes on the Democratic line
    • 415 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • Gregory Burnett, 7,444 votes (winner)
    • 7,053 votes on the Democratic line
    • 391 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • Johan Lopez, 7,400 votes (winner)
    • 6,992 votes on the Democratic line
    • 408 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • Richard Bonenfant, 6,583 votes
    • 5,726 votes on the Republican line
    • 857 votes on the Independent line
  • Glenn Iannacone, Republican, 5,695 votes
  • John Levin, Republican, 5,407 votes
  • Luis Estrella, Republican, 5,006 votes
  • Enrique Santiago, Republican, 4,909 votes
  • Erik T. Anderson, Independent, 899 votes
  • Jo Bennett, Independent, 894 votes
  • Patricia Venneri Agudow, Independent, 841 votes
  • Eric Vitaglione, Independent, 696 votes
Council, District A
  • Jalin Sead, 1,544 votes (winner)
    • 1,370 votes on the Democratic line
    • 174 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • Nicol Ayers, Democrat, 1,342 votes (winner)
  • Tricia Massucco, 975 votes
    • 841 votes on the Republican line
    • 134 votes on the Independent line
Council, District B
  • Darlene Young, 968 votes (winner)
    • 915 votes on the Democratic line
    • 53 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • Dajuan Wiggins, Democrat, 953 votes (winner)
  • Donna Smirniotopoulos, 385 votes
    • 295 votes on the Republican line
    • 90 votes on the Independent line
Council, District C
  • Melissa Murray, 2,588 votes (apparent winner)
    • 1,612 votes on the Democratic line
    • 976 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • Jennifer McMurrer, 1,870 votes (winner)
    • 1,640 votes on the Democratic line
    • 230 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • Read Auerbach, Republican, 1,642 votes
  • Carl Cooke, Independent, 293
Council, District D
  • Doug Sutton, Democrat, 1,955 votes (winner)
  • Heather Dunn, 1,901 votes (winner subject to possible recount)
    • 1,705 votes on the Republican line
    • 196 votes on the Independent line
  • Jan Degenshein, Democrat, 1,883
  • Bryan Meek, 1,877 votes
    • 1,702 votes on the Republican line
    • 175 votes on the Independent line
Council, District E
  • Lisa Shanahan, 2,055 votes (winner)
    • 1,955 votes on the Democratic line
    • 100 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • James Frayer, Democrat, 1,892 votes (winner)
  • Ernest DesRochers, 1,243 votes
    • 1,071 votes on the Republican line
    • 172 votes on the Independent line
  • Jay Parisi, Republican, 1,035 votes
  • Denise Brown, Independent, 205
Board of Education, District A
  • Samantha Pleasants, Democrat, 1,363 votes (winner)
  • Alexandra Kemeny, 941 votes
    • 795 votes on the Republican line
    • 146 votes on the Independent line
Board of Education, District B
  • Howard White, Democrat, 905 votes (winner)
  • Rasheemah Richardson, 355 votes
    • 266 votes on the Republican line
    • 69 votes on the Independent line
Board of Education, District C
  • Diana Carpio, 1,762 votes (winner)
    • 1,633 votes on the Democratic line
    • 129 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • Nicole Hampton, 1,641 votes
    • 1,460 votes on the Republican line
    • 181 votes on the Independent line
Board of Education, District D
  • Ashley Gulyas, 1,978 votes (winner)
    • 1,852 votes on the Democratic line
    • 126 votes on the Working Families Party line
  • Doug Hempstead, Republican, 1,843 votes
Board of Education, District E
  • Mary Ellen Flaherty-Ludwig, 2,149 votes
City Treasurer
  • Donna King, Democrat, 8,316 votes (winner)
  • John P. Cardamone, Sr., Republican, 5,992 votes
City Sheriff
  • Robert Burgess, Democrat, 7,638 votes (winner)
  • Ronald Paladino, Republican, 5632 votes
  • Katherine Price Snedaker, Independent, 1,050 votes
Selectman
  • Andy Garfunkel, Democrat, 7,911 votes (winner)
  • Samuel Pride, Democrat, 7,028 votes (winner)
  • Kathryn Martino, Republican, 5,099 votes
  • Shannon O’Toole Giandurco, Republican, 5,086 votes
  • Joseph Tamburi, Independent, 1,086 votes
  • David Davidson, Independent, 783 votes
Constable
  • Ernest Dumas, Democrat, 7,121 votes (winner)
  • Darius Williams, Democrat, 7,170 votes (winner)
  • Jalin Sead, Democrat, 7,010 votes (winner)
  • Johnnie Mae Weldon, Democrat, 6,955 votes (winner)
  • Peter Bondi, Republican, 5,223 votes (winner)
  • Ray Cooke, Republican, 5,120 votes (winner)
  • Greg Helms, Republican, 4,838 votes (winner)
  • Jeffrey Dewitt, Republican, 4,718 votes
  • Tysen Canaveri, Independent, 1,326 votes
  • Joseph Tamberi, Independent, 1,267 votes
  • Erik Anderson, Independent, 1,023 votes
  • Jeffrey Rollings, Independent, 829 votes
First Taxing District Treasurer
  • Rosa Murray, Democrat, 938 votes (winner)
  • John Miller, Republican, 446 votes
First Taxing District Commissioner
  • Thomas Cullen, Republican, 673 votes
Second Taxing District Commissioner
  • David Westmoreland, Democrat, 758 votes (winner)
  • Sonja Oliver, Democrat, 752 votes
  • Maria Borges Lopez, 249 votes
Second Taxing District Treasurer
  • Darlene Young, Democrat, 839 votes (winner)
Third Taxing District Commissioner
  • Pamela Parkington, 1,457 votes
    • 773 votes on the Democratic line
    • 684 votes on the Republican line
Third Taxing District Treasurer
  • Read Auerbach, Republican, 976 votes
Sixth Taxing District Commissioner
  • Jody Sattler, Democrat, 674 votes
Sixth Taxing District Treasurer
  • Gilbert Kernan, Republican, 466 votes
Charter revision
  • Yes, 8,823 votes
  • No, 1,219 votes

Independents’ response

Then-District D Common Council candidate Heather Dunn at the recent League of Women Voters of Norwalk forum.

Lisa Brinton, Chair of the Independent Party Norwalk Town Committee, released this statement:

“Congratulations to the council and BOE winners. We hope going forward, they’ll represent neighborhoods, parents and students, remembering they work for them, not the mayor or superintendent. 

“Pleased with Heather Dunn’s win in District D.  She’s the first Independent to be elected in a few decades and will be an excellent advocate for residents, promoting city management and quality of life issues.

“Disappointed in the BOE results for a host of reasons.  We feel more open and courageous conversations are needed regarding academic performance, more rigorous expectations for students and resetting of budget priorities.  

“Obviously, we’d hoped for more, but it’s just our second municipal election. Pleased we’re building a non-partisan brand, focused on local issues. Our advocacy via Save Norwalk Neighborhoods will continue.”

Dunn is an Independent cross-endorsed by Republicans.

Comments

20 responses to “Registrars update Tuesday’s election results, correcting data”

  1. Jason Franklin

    It seems like people want change yet put the same people back in office election after election. It’s like wanting your job and salary to change while staying in the same position year after year. I wonder how many people just vote a line without actually knowing what each candidate stands for. Voting blindly by party at the local level is what puts us in a sequel of the last movie we just watched for the prior two years. It seems no one in the administration wants to actually help or hear the concerns of Norwalk unless it comes attached with something to get their attention. Here’s to Harry Part 6… that is if we still have theaters around to see it in town and they aren’t turned into more apartments. 🥂

  2. Scott Vetare

    Well said Jason! Thank you for taking the time to write what I’m thinking and what these people need to hear. But they don’t listen.
    Norwalk is in a world of you know what! These puppets who just got voted in will do everything they can to make Harry happy.
    To the people who didn’t get out and vote. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
    Prayers to the city that once was an enjoyable place to live.

  3. DIana Paladino

    Just my two cents from a “republic-rat”. As someone who aligns with a political party but refuses to vote strictly along party lines, I find it crucial to address a few issues that have been evident in our local races.
    Firstly, it’s evident that the Republican strategy in our area needs a significant overhaul. While I appreciate the presence of third-party candidates, it’s clear that they don’t always contribute constructively to the political landscape of the overall goal-to garner some balance. The Republicans banked on the third party alignment for winning seats and as I suspected that did not assist. Perhaps a few more votes were picked up here and there. But a win is a win and a lose is a lose. And let’s face it, we lost. The people voting on the I line, likely would have voted on the R line-if not given the choice of the I line. So what was gained? I am told I do not get it. I do not understand the numbers blah blah blah. Well, the results of this election speak volumes.
    Moving forward, the Republicans must recognize that they now face competition not only from the Democrats but also from Independent candidates. For instance, in District C, a winnable seat was lost because votes that could have gone to the Republican candidate, Read, were split with Carl Cooke running as an Independent. Had Read accepted the endorsement of the Independents while keeping Carl on the ballot, they still would have shared those votes. People voting on the I line, were R voters regardless. I firmly believe that. As you can see it the case in the politcal fb group, Save Norwalk Neighborhoods. The Working Families (WF) line WORKS for the Democrats because the WF party does not run anyone against them, effectively extending their reach. While I’m not criticizing the Independent line’s existence (you have every right), it’s clear that Republicans need to adapt to this changing landscape and strategize accordingly because all we have now is an even further reach to achieve balance locally. What took place this last election cycle, gained nothing. In fact, we lost the one seat that we had. We teamed up with individuals who claim to want change and want to vote people and not party-yet it was “off with my head” because I have a Jenn McMurrer sign in my yard. You can not pretend to be something you are not? If you really want to vote people and not party-then do that. But own it.
    Secondly, Republican candidates must put in the effort to truly connect with their constituents. While some candidates work diligently, there are still many who fall short. Mere campaign materials like signs and palm cards won’t win elections. Connecting with voters requires meaningful engagement, such as door-knocking, phone banking, and actively participating in the community. Engaging only with an inner circle at an event or relying solely on campaign materials will not resonate with voters. Winning elections demands a deeper commitment to understanding and addressing the concerns of the electorate.
    Lastly, Republican leadership needs to step up and demonstrate strength, focus, and strategic thinking. It’s essential to hold candidates accountable for their actions and ensure they conduct themselves professionally while out in the community. While embracing different ideas and perspectives is essential, party loyalty shouldn’t be about blindly adhering to one ideology. You do not have to align with another party line to be mindful of a true local approach of balance. It should be about inclusivity and the willingness to consider diverse viewpoints. Until local Republicans take responsibility for their shortcomings, put in the hard work, and become more accountable, it will be challenging to change anyone’s perceptions or win elections in our community.
    The local Republican party won nothing this Election cycle. Heather Dunn does appear to have won a seat and kudos to her for doing so. But she is an I candidate and garnered a substantial number of votes on the Republican line. Without those Republican votes, no chance was had. Great for her and the Independent party but the Republicans are not offering Norwalk a real choice at this point as a result. And as we see in the numbers, until the Republicans get it together and are strategic, Norwalk won;t be offered choices. We might get one here, one there but is that really enough to achieve balance?
    In conclusion, I advocate for a more strategic, hardworking, and accountable approach within the Republican party at the local level. I also implore those that represent the party and a granted an opportunity to run to be kind in the community. Especially when you are a candidate or member of the local party. It is an elected position and you are representing us as a whole. If you can not act professional, courteous and as you would in your work/office then you should kindly step aside. Because in a local community, people see what is happening and remember what takes place. Yes, there are so many that vote for the party lines. But I believe there is opportunity as many also vote for the person. We saw that with the exceptional mayoral candidate we had this go around. There are still challenges but respect goes a long way! I urge Republicans to adapt to the evolving political landscape and actively engage with voters, local Republicans can better position themselves to represent the diverse interests of our community effectively. And hopefully start to offer a bit of balance to Norwalk. Until then, the outcome will not change.

  4. Tysen Canevari

    Kind of dissapointed that our state senator would make a public plea on facebook the day before the election to downgrade others and tell people to vote row a all the way across. All I can say is it is sad! Could you imagine the example it sets for our kids. We live in a democracy here and you should take the time to know who is running and what they stand for. I mean Howdy Doody could have been on line A and people would have still checked row A. Read your ballot people and be informed. He claimed the other two parties wont pave the roads or fix the schools blah blah. This is not Trump vs Biden. This is a local election. So down on what behavior I saw this week. It is embarrassing. How about a video just encouraging Norwalk to get out and vote! It’s your civic duty to do so my dad taught me. I appreciate the people that voted for me and the kind remarks. Vinny ran a great campaign and loves Norwalk for the right reasons. He mentioned at a debate that the current administration needs to remember who made Norwalk what it is today! Not what the state wants to make us. Congratulations to all the winners in the election and thank you Nancy for this platform of discussion.

  5. Scott Goodwin

    Your concerns about the Independent line siphoning votes away from Republican candidates assumes that 100% of the Independent votes would have gone to the Republican candidates. But history hasn’t shown that to be true. And the stats shown in the results show that even if it were true, it *might* have impacted two of the dozens of open seats, where less than 100 votes separated winners from losers.

    In the majority, the 74% of registered voters who didn’t participate made the largest difference. Either they’re apathetic or didn’t connect with anyone the Democrats, Republicans or Independents put on the ballot. The rest of your post on the need to connect with them is spot-on.

  6. DIana Paladino

    Scott I appreciate your stats. I just feel strongly that locally that is not the case here in Norwalk. Perhaps historically/ nationally it may be. But the impact locally here in Norwalk, CT at least today-it is not the case.
    Tyson, I agree sad to see that as well. We all can disagree but fear mongering is not okay and it was a very one sided approach and a little too forceful to a voter who may not have really been engaged in what was actually being said by some of the more quality moderate candidates on those issues. Norwalk def needs more positivity in their local elections and to turn a lot of the negative energy and personal attacks into solutions and activism with a huge dose of kindness. I really think it matters. Sounds corny. But Norwalk is a city but it truly has the small town feel. At the end of the day, I appreciate anyone who runs for public office and puts themselves out there. I just think if Norwalk truly desires balance then the Republicans need to stop pretending that the people making the decisions within the party are making good ones. The good ol boys club is tired and until they start listening to some fresh ideas instead of just pretending on the surface, it is not going to get better. Nothing comes easy, you actually have to want it and put in the work. Clearly, there is a big struggle and everything that has been tried in several years is a no go. Vinny was an incredible mayoral candidate who stuck by his message and did not let the influences of the less credible folks get in the way from his own side. He also exuberated respect and decency. That does a very long way. But he lacked a lot of support from within the RTC leadership and memebershop. It takes more than money and showing up for a drink at an event. Perhaps if it had been stronger, we could have done better. It is unfortunate. There is a lot to be said for a united front and collaboration for all and not just a chosen few.

  7. John Levin

    I too would like to share some thoughts.

    First: Thank you to Norwalk’s two Registrars of Voters and to their staffs, and to our Town Clerk, for organizing this election. Thank you also to the many poll workers and station moderators who worked through a very long day and in one place a very challenging and we know now tragic situation. Through your hard work and dedication you ensure that all voters are able to participate and that our elections are fair and effective, and can serve as a model for what makes our nation great.

    Second: Congratulations to the winners! I think the vast majority of candidates worked hard to engage with residents, analyze and discuss issues and answer voters’ questions. As a first time candidate, I have discovered that this is not easy to do, but it can be fun, and importantly, it is highly informative as people share their concerns and their stories.

    Last: turnout in Norwalk was only 26%? That compares to a statewide average this election of 33%. Of course I am aware that this is an “off year” election and that it is “only a municipal election”, but the turnout strikes me as quite low. Perhaps it’s a measure of voter apathy, but in reality, it means that less than 15% of voters get to decide who is elected in Norwalk. And they did. Subject to a recount in District D, it appears that zero republicans were elected in Norwalk on Tuesday. Zero. That’s a big number. Or, rather, it’s big in that it can’t get any lower. To better understand it, I think it is worth reviewing the party affiliation statistics of Norwalk’s registered voters. These figures may be dated, but in Norwalk only 16% of voters are registered as Republicans, while 40% are Democrats and 44% are Independent Party or Unaffiliated voters. If a significant portion of voters are voting on party lines then this election outcome should be easy to predict and the merits of individual candidates don’t matter much. A frequently heard refrain is that party affiliation should not matter for local elections, and that national party issues, shortcomings, and personalities are not relevant at the local level. I disagree. I think national issues, and politicians like former president Donald Trump, have an enormous impact on how people view the Republican Party in particular, and that has translated into the voter registration numbers, and the election results, in Norwalk at least, which are now evident. Though the candidates may claim otherwise, I think that influence of the national party and its recent history has made the job of Norwalk’s Democrats at election time much easier. Consequently, I think if Norwalk’s Republicans want to be an effective opposition party once again, which means participating as a relevant source of candidates and ideas, one place to start should be a meaningful discussion of how we view our national leadership, and what values and ideas are acceptable to us, which ones are not, and why. The democrats don’t have to do this. We do.

  8. John Levin

    I too would like to share some thoughts.

    First: Thank you to Norwalk’s two Registrars of Voters and to their staffs, and to our Town Clerk, for organizing this election. Thank you also to the many poll workers and station moderators who worked through a very long day and in one place a very challenging and we know now tragic situation. Through your hard work and dedication you ensure that all voters are able to participate and that our elections are fair and effective, and can serve as a model for what makes our nation great.

    Second: Congratulations to the winners! I think the vast majority of candidates worked hard to engage with residents, analyze and discuss issues and answer voters’ questions. As a first time candidate, I have discovered that this is not easy to do, but it can be fun, and importantly, it is highly informative as people share their concerns and their stories.

    Last: turnout in Norwalk was only 26%? That compares to a statewide average this election of 33%. Of course I am aware that this is an “off year” election and that it is “only a municipal election”, but the turnout strikes me as quite low. Perhaps it’s a measure of voter apathy, but in reality, it means that less than 15% of voters get to decide who is elected in Norwalk. And they did. Subject to a recount in District D, it appears that zero republicans were elected in Norwalk on Tuesday. Zero. That’s a big number. Or, rather, it’s big in that it can’t get any lower. To better understand it, I think it is worth reviewing the party affiliation statistics of Norwalk’s registered voters. These figures may be dated, but in Norwalk only 16% of voters are registered as Republicans, while 40% are Democrats and 44% are Independent Party or Unaffiliated voters. If a significant portion of voters are voting on party lines then this election outcome should be easy to predict and the merits of individual candidates don’t matter much. A frequently heard refrain is that party affiliation should not matter for local elections, and that national party issues, shortcomings, and personalities are not relevant at the local level. I disagree. I think national issues, and politicians like former president Donald Trump, have an enormous impact on how people view the Republican Party in particular, and that has translated into the voter registration numbers, and the election results, in Norwalk at least, which are now evident. Though the candidates may claim otherwise, I think that influence of the national party and its recent history has made the job of Norwalk’s Democrats at election time much easier. Consequently, I think if Norwalk’s Republicans want to be an effective opposition party once again, which means participating as a relevant source of candidates and ideas, one place to start should be a meaningful discussion of how we view our national leadership, and what values and ideas are acceptable to us, which ones are not, and why. The democrats don’t have to do this. We do.

  9. Bob Schumann

    Each of the comments above have different “strawman” arguments with the common theme of all three being that the majority of Norwalkers don’t appreciate how the city has been governed by Mayor Rilling and the other incumbents but, are just too stupid to vote for the Republicans running against them. I could get into the “weeds” with each one of the commenters faulty conclusions but, for many reasons it would be a waste of my time.

  10. Tysen Canevari

    People sometimes are like sheep Bob and they follow the leader. Look at the credentials of one of the victors for a council seat in district b and let me know how many Norwalkers know his background! My point is people should be educated on the ballot and it was shameful of a state senator to ridicule the other two parties when his party isn’t built with perfect citizens themselves. I hope Vinny runs again in 2 years. Reputable man, local entrepreneur, donates his time and money, and in it for all the right reasons.

    1. Bob Schumann

      That is the way it always is in local races like this, Tysen. It’s like that in most towns the size of ours and smaller. The ideal isn’t the reality and never will be so, people vote for “the team” from whatever party represents their values and philosophy. Sometimes they aren’t members of a party.
      They vote for the people or team that they decided is the closest to representing their values and philosophy. The majority of Norwalk’s voters appreciate what Mayor Rilling and, as he himself, describes them, “the team” has done for our city over the last decade. You and Jason Franklin and anyone else can make excuses for your party losing by insulting and demeaning the voters all you want but it doesn’t change the fact that they cared enough about who is elected to be part of the process and vote. Especially in an off year election like Tuesday’s was. That a lot of voters “vote the line” is true. That they do it across line A instead of B, C, D is not because they are too stupid or lazy. It’s because, as you say, they “follow the leader,” Mayor Rilling. They definitely know who he is and what he and his team has done for Norwalk. They voted for him and they voted his team. And as far as people saying we need new people to be elected. There are plenty of new people who got elected Tuesday who will have their input in the process of “making the sausage.”

      What you say about being “sheep” and voting a certain line cuts both ways, Tysen.

      One last thing, I live in District B. I don’t know how you define “background” but there was someone on the ballot whose politics and political history I do know and with that knowledge I didn’t nor would I ever vote for that person. It shouldn’t be hard for you to figure out who.

  11. Steve Mann

    What an incredibly disappointing turnout. A result of a newly dominant renter voter base? Likely a major factor. Current officeholders are well aware of the benefits to them under this circumstance.

  12. Tysen Canevari

    Bob, District B isnt Silvermine?

    1. Bob Schumann

      Yes, Tysen. My mistake. I meant D.

  13. Mike Mushak

    Congratulations to all the candidates whether you won or lost, as you participated in the sacred American tradition of democracy that many have fought and died to protect, including most recently on 1/6/21.

    I hope this election puts to bed the ridiculous reactionary NIMBY position the Republicans and Independents are depending on to get votes, using fear of others especially renters to divide our community and demonize nearly half the city. It just ain’t working!

    The truth is single family homes cost us more in services than they pay in taxes, and are being subsidized by the apartment buildings who pay more in taxes per square foot and use less city services, as they have less kids in school and don’t need all that expensive road repair and plowing along miles of suburban streets. This isn’t my opinion. It’s the truth, supported by years of studies and evidence.

    Also, the big lie about the sewage treatment plant pushed by vocal instigators like Common Council candidate Bryan Meek (who lost) simply didn’t hold up to scrutiny. The plant has decades of capacity left, and the rare overflows of partially treated effluent during historic rain events due to climate change will be controlled with new investment recently announced. The lie that the overflows were due to new development, and that our infrastructure was failing to keep up with development was pushed hard by R/I candidates but anyone who could read facts knew that was a bogus position.

    When you have to lie to try to win elections, our highly-educated population takes notice!

    The truth is the majority of young folks and retirees and empty nesters don’t want to live in expensive single family houses that are also expensive to maintain. The entire market has shifted, and the new apartment buildings have just as many local folks living in them as new residents who are moving in from elsewhere like NYC.

    When you demonize anyone who rents an apartment as a threat, they take notice and you lose their vote. Period. And I made sure every renter I know, which is a lot, knew that most R/I candidates were out there insisting that single family homeowners were somehow more “valuable” to Norwalk then they are, when the truth is it’s the apartment dwellers subsidizing the single family homes who are real burden on our city’s economy!

    If I had a penny for every time an R/I candidate demonized renters, I’d be rich. You can’t win elections by demonizing half the city! It’s insane and yet there they are yet again like they do every election season, spreading blatant lies about tax breaks and infrastructure as the city grows better and safer and more vibrant and more fun and our schools improve with every passing year.

    Finally, you can’t separate national and local politics anymore, when the Republican Party has been taken over by openly racist fascists who want to overthrow democracy. The official Republican platform is anti-women, anti-gay, anti-environment, anti-healthcare, anti-gun safety, anti-voting rights, and basically anti-American.

    As a gay man, I see the Republican Party as an existential threat to me and my family, as do so many of my friends both gay and straight. They even want to ban gay marriage again! That’s why I would never vote for a Republican even for dog catcher, except for my friend Town Clerk Rick McQuaid who has an R after his name but clearly isn’t a MAGA nutcase! (Full disclosure: Rick signed my marriage license in 2016 in City Hall, when I got married to my husband David Westmoreland in our church St Paul’s on the Green down the street, and he did it with a hug and a blessing!)

    Basically, do you really want your young daughter to grow up and be forced to have an unwanted baby under threat of arrest for both her and her doctors and nurses? Really? That’s exactly what the Republican Party wants in their national ban on abortion. No thanks!

    Republicans turned to the abortion issue in the 1970’s to energize their base after their support of racist segregation became too polarizing, so they needed another hot button emotional issue to gain political power. It helped Reagan get elected in 1980, and since then they made abortion and controlling women’s bodies the central issue to their medieval backwards philosophy. They made their bed and now they have to sleep in it, losing elections even in red states.

    I saw plenty of women on Election Day at the SoNo School in District B, as I stood for 15 hours without a break to greet voters and discuss issues. Most of the women I greeted said things like “don’t worry, no support here for Republicans ever!”

    Vinny would have done much better if he had strongly repudiated Trump and his MAGA policies in our highly-educated and beautifully diverse city, but no Republican candidate wants to do that these days in the face of threats and intimidation from members of their own party.

    Combining the backwards extremist national GOP platform with this bizarre obsession by local Republicans and Independents for demonizing renters as a threat, and you have a formula for electoral failure in Norwalk and anywhere people care deeply about personal freedom and democracy, including protecting the rights of women, minorities, immigrants, gay folks like me, and everyone who all deserve to live freely in a pluralistic society where we all deserve a chance to succeed and be happy.

    That is the polar opposite of the extremist MAGA movement, which is why that brand will never sell here in our great city of Norwalk. And please stop lying about tax breaks, the sewage plant, and renters! The results on Tuesday stated loud and clear that we’ve had enough of that reactionary nonsense.

    Norwalk has been developing smartly for years growing jobs and much-needed housing, and we will continue to do that, just as every successful and growing city is doing across the nation.

    And bad projects will continue to be rejected, like the stupid giant 650-student private school at Dolce in West Norwalk supported by Republicans that would have crippled those narrow back roads with 400 speeding cars twice a day. Thank goodness level heads prevailed on that one!

    1. Bob Schumann

      “Vinny would have done much better if he had strongly repudiated Trump and his MAGA policies in our highly-educated and beautifully diverse city, but no Republican candidate wants to do that these days in the face of threats and intimidation from members of their own party.”

      Mike, that was a great post you made. I wish I could post as succinctly and articulately as you always do. I do differ from one of your conclusions which I reposted above.

      You are assuming Vinnie and the rest of the Republican slate want to “repudiate Trump and his MAGA policies.” They aren’t members of the Republican party for nothing. Last week I made a similar comment regarding why I wouldn’t vote for anyone locally whose judgement and values made them choose to be Republicans. In reaponse I was accused of having “Trump Derangement Syndrome” by a candidate for Common Council in my district. Now, while I wouldn’t describe it as a “derangement syndrome,” I do plead guilty to what he considers “derangement” according to his judgment and values.

      Again Mike, an excellent post.

  14. Bob Schumann

    One other thing. I didn’t comment on your problem with Senator Duff’s video because I had never looked at it. I looked at it last night. I don’t get what the kurfuffle was all about. He was direct, composed and spoke to the issues. Everything he said is true. Especially regarding the new Norwalk High School. As far as his making the video at all, the election is happening in his district. He is extremely popular. People trust him. His campaigning is an asset to the Democrats running for local office in his district. There was nothing unusual about him putting out that video to his constituency the day before the election. It’s “Retail Politics.”

    1. Bob Schumann

      In case there is any misunderstanding, the post this one is attached to is in response to Tysen’s.

  15. Tysen Canevari

    Bob. If you watched the video he said he spoke to people around town and they said republicans or Independents wont pave the roads or fix schools. Please narrow in on who said that. Those two parties are asking to be a little more fiscally responsible in regards to these projects. If we get 60 million for a school that costs 90 who pays the rest? Those are old numbers but the donation is the same. We havent paid off the science wing we added yet. Apparently the voters listened and will pay the tax hike to start covering all these expenses. It is what it is Bob. I wouldnt expect Senator Duff to present that logic at a school lecture for political science.

    1. Bob Schumann

      Tysen, as I said, I saw the video last night.

      Apparently, you didn’t listen to what Sen. Duff actually said. He didn’t say, “he spoke to people around town and they said republicans or Independents wont pave the roads or fix schools.” Sen. Duff said in regard to infrastructure . . .

      “I fear that if some of these candidates get into office some of that money will be halted and again, that’s not what the City residents want. At least the ones that I’ve talked to.”

      You say, “If we get 60 million for a school that costs 90 who pays the rest?” Sen. Duff said, in regard to “… our new Norwalk High School with 80% of the cost paid for by the state of Connecticut . . . If that project does not go through, then the City will have to put in at least 20 to 30 million dollars just for maintenance on what is now a 50 year old building.” He then continued, “I’ve heard candidates on both the Common Council and the Board of Education on the Republican and Independent side they want to halt our school construction which I know is not in line with what the residents of our city want.”

      Now, for an analogy, let’s say you are given a choice between buying a $90,000 “state of the art” car where you only have to pay for 20% of it, $18,000 or you have to pay at least $20,000 to $30,000 to keep the old jalopy you already own running. That’s the choice Senator Duff was laying out in his video between the Democratics and the Republican/”Independents.”

      The people made their choice, a logical, wise, common sense choice I might add, this past Tuesday.

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