NORWALK, Conn. – Often-controversial Norwalk District B looks poised to deliver a feel-good yawn this year as the Democratic Town Committee lineup shapes up, DTC member Mike Mushak said Monday night.
DTC districts held several caucuses Monday night in advance of Thursday’s election for DTC members. NancyOnNorwalk has no information about what happened in A, C and E, but District D re-elected Vinny Mangiacopra as its chairman, and named Joe Tamburri as its vice chairman. And while sources said there was a battle looming in District B, where 12 people were vying for 7 slots, Mushak said everything was worked out. Wednesday’s election will be a formality.
“I was just amazed because I always expect fireworks,” Mushak said. “It was all great speeches.”
Two years ago, District B’s travails turned the tide for the city, as Travis Simms, Phaedral “Faye” Bowman, Sandra Stokes, Ernie Dumas and Nabil Valencia forced a primary. Four of the five were elected to the DTC, edging out Mary Geake, then-Councilman Carvin Hilliard and others. In response, then-Councilman Michael Geake changed his affiliation from Democrat to unaffiliated and joined the Republican caucus, shifting all the committee chairmanships and power to the Republicans after the Democrats had taken a one-seat majority in November.
Mary Geake was seeking election to the DTC this year. Mushak said she is one of the people who agreed to step down Monday night.
Everyone pulled together, with Simms, Dumas and Chairman Bobby Burgess in the lead, Mushak said. They said the district is facing problems and it would be beneficial if everyone worked together, according to Mushak.
Also dropping out of their own free will were Sharon Stewart, Joe Newell and Nate Sumpter, Mushak said. Martha Dumas was going to drop out, but Olivia Dardy did it instead because of personal issues, Mushak said.
Going into Thursday night, there is no competition in “one of the most contentious districts,” he said.
“I find it’s part of the bigger narrative of Harry Rilling,” he said, “trying to smooth over some of the biggest issues. A few years ago there were shouting matches. … The district that had the most controversy turned out to be the district that came the most together, the district that showed the most unity. After it was over, everybody stood around and talked, and said we need to come together to deal with the issues of District B. Everyone was smiling and agreeing this was the best approach.”