Source: Watts, Perone may duke it out for Norwalk 137th state rep seat

Watts Perone Norwalk
Common Councilman David Watts (D-District A), left, said he putting pressure on state legislators. A source said he wants to unseat 10-year incumbent state Rep. Chris Perone (D-137).

NORWALK, Conn. – Local Democrats are already starting to line up for the fall election – the one in 2014.

Common Councilman David Watts, who is running for re-election in District A, has formed an exploratory committee for a state representative run. While Watts lives in the 142nd district, a source close to the situation said the councilman is considering challenging state Rep. Chris Perone, who represents the 137th district.

Perone filed his papers for re-election on Aug. 8.

“I’m pretty busy and I don’t want to start off at the last minute,” Perone said. “It’s a little earlier than I usually do. It always involves a lot of running around, so I would just as soon start it sooner.”

He said he didn’t know if Watts was planing to run against him. “It’s an exploratory, so there’s not much else I can comment about it other than that,” he said.

Watts filed the papers for his committee on April 4. He also emphasized that it is an exploratory committee, and would not comment on the rumor that he’s considering taking on Perone.

“This is a way to bring maximum pressure to the city delegation and the powers that be because Norwalk has been shortchanged by the state,” he said. “This is an attempt to, number one, bring awareness to state issues and continue to discuss issues that I feel strongly about, as far as the state goes.”

Watts made many trips to Hartford as the legislative session came to an end in June, posting on Facebook numerous photos from inside the Capitol.

“I became kind of the voice of Norwalk going up to Hartford and advocating for Norwalk citizens,” he said.

On July 9 Watts’ exploratory committee filed an end-of-the-quarter financial report – the councilman had raised $3,482.05. He would need to raise $5,000 to get a matching grant from the state.

His contributors include Common Councilman John Igneri (D-District E), who donated $100; Common Councilman Carvin Hilliard (D-District B), who donated $120; and state Sen. Toni Harp, the endorsed Democratic candidate for mayor of New Haven, who donated $100.

Watts said recently that he owes his political career to Harp.

Other notable contributors:

Vinny Mangiacopra $100

Tony Ditrio $100

Tammy Grimes McPherson $25

Michael Discala $100

Donna Discala $100

Mike Mushak $75

Mike Barbis $25

Darnell Crosland $105

Warren Peña $15

The source said Watts could run for the 137th seat even if he doesn’t live in the district. If he wins he would have to move.

Democratic Registrar Stuart Wells said Watts would not have to go far.

“Watts lives ‘two blocks and a cemetery’ away from the nearest District 137 line (Riverside Avenue),” Wells said in an email. “I’m not sure when he would have to move into the district in order to represent it – on the off-chance he won the (likely) primary and general election.”


36 responses to “Source: Watts, Perone may duke it out for Norwalk 137th state rep seat”

  1. D(ysfunctional)TC

    If Watts wins and stays true to his form, we’ll see him down in D.C. wasting time while skipping all his important meetings in Hartford.

  2. EveT

    So why doesn’t Mr. Watts run in the 142nd District? Does he think Larry Cafero is too hard to beat?

  3. Don’t Panic

    He is going to get out of the way so Warren Pena can run against Cafero.

  4. Don’t Panic

    Caption say Perone represents 142. He is rep for. 137 as article correctly states.

    (Editor’s note: The caption has been fixed. Thanks!)

  5. LWitherspoon

    The David A. Watts for State Rep exploratory committee consists of:
    Bea Jones
    al jabro
    L boogie
    …and the list goes on.
    A short while ago Mr. Watts was asked whether or not he could identify any successful state representative candidates who behave as he does. He could not answer.
    Moving into a sitting Democratic state rep’s district to primary him is just one more in a long line of self-serving moves from Mr. Watts, who can be regularly counted on to put his own interests above those of his party and the people he represents.

  6. L boogie


    Watts is my cousin and you should be ashamed of yourself. Al jabro is the name of my you tube channel.

    What are you smoking? Just lying on people.to carry out your twisted agenda. Over 100 people donated to his campaign and I am proud of him.

    Stay strong, Dave.

  7. NorwalkVoter

    Watts is an erratic individual with tendencies toward uncontrollable outbursts. He lives in the 142nd District and if he is such a great Democratic advocate for Norwalk he should run against Cafero. Democrats stopped taking him seriously long ago. He doesn’t so much have supporters as he has folks afraid to cross him. He has a long record of bizarre behavior in Norwalk and New Haven. Reporters should check his reputation in politics. We do not want this man to represent Norwalk in Hartford! He can pretend to be a ‘man of God’ but his behavior is quite the opposite. Out of Control!

  8. L boogie


    You must be a Rilling Supporter. First, the reporters should look a young man growing up in poverty and in a tough neighborhood. He has interned in the state house and in a congressional office.

    Instead of trashing my cousin you should speak about Mr.Rilling or Mr. Perone’s record. Using code words like erratic, bizzarre and afraid to cross him is outrageous and has no place in a civil society.

    David is one of first to go to college in my family a

    got his back. My family is one of the largest families in New Haven and will be hosting the leading mayoral candidate on Saturday.

  9. NorwalkVoter

    Cousin L Boogie
    None of your defense of Watts removes the facts as witnessed by so many in both communities. David is ‘eratic and bizzare’ and any campaign that has him on paid staff (since he doesn’t have a job) is playing with fire. Civil society does not behave the way he does, no matter how large his family is. Perhaps the responsible thing would be an intervention by your family.

  10. Confused voter

    I’d be really torn on who to vote for here…. would it be Bea Jones or
    al jabro or the infamous L boogie maybe Rikkibobbi or Shonuff.

    Either way he’ll be able to pull votes in an astounding clip! Maybe He oughta caucus his personalities to which one gets the nod!

  11. LWitherspoon

    @David Watts
    Please stop attempting to cover up your bad behavior with bald-faced lies. It’s not going to help anything. Also, please stop accusing anyone who criticizes you of using “code words” i.e. racism. It would be better to try and make the case, if you can, that your behavior is not consistently erratic, dishonest, and repugnant.
    I find it interesting that you have posted on multiple forums that you are a member of the working poor, yet you are considering moving to run for State Rep. Can members of the “working poor” really afford to do that? And in spite of your alleged poverty, you turn down the $600 yearly stipend that Common Council members receive. Can members of the “working poor” really afford to give away $600? Inquiring minds want to know!
    I think it’s fair to ask whether or not taxpayers would be best served to hire David Watts to be our State Rep when nobody in private industry seems willing to hire him for anything.
    In light of Mr. Watts’s well-established penchant for dishonesty and trickery, and the improbability of a primary campaign against a 10-year incumbent Democrat, close attention should be paid to how any matching funds and other monies raised are spent. Wouldn’t it be interesting if they are somehow used in support of another political campaign that “employs” Mr. Watts?

  12. Joe Espo

    Am I reading this right? Al Jabro wants to carpetbag the 137th while living in another district? That takes brass and a whole lot of delusion.

  13. bill

    David Watts, another unemployed, unaccomplished nobody looking for a permanent guvment job like Mangiacopra…grow up and get real jobs in the private sector

  14. LWitherspoon

    Breaking news! Bea Jones, L Boogie, Al Jabro and Rikkibobbi were recently spotted brawling in front of City Hall. Apparently they could not agree which one would be nominated to run for State Rep.

  15. YourDaddy

    Cut it out. Watts representing us in Hartford? Quit fooling around.

  16. Don’t Panic

    So much for party unity after the primary. Local Dems are already picking a fight for next year. The popcorn is already popping as the Republicans gear up to sit back and watch the Democrats form another circular firing squad.
    We have met the enemy and he is us.

  17. Joe Espo

    Wattsy-Pop brand popcorn is the best.

  18. Rod Lopez-Fabrega

    No one here has mentioned the great job Chris Perone has done. He’s not flashy like Mr. Watts, but he has a ten-year record of experience, quietly but effectively and consistently doing a fine job for us.

    The last thing we need right now is another temperamental “learner” on the job.

  19. L boogie

    What happen in south norwalk where voters have to drive to Roton to vote. Many of them live across from Ely school- Chris Donovan redistricting plan.


  20. D(ysfunctional)TC

    Vote for Watts. We’ll have polling places at every street corner. Who cares if it costs taxpayers millions we don’t have? That some people have to drive or hop a bus to vote just isn’t fair. Nor is it fair for Watts to have to pay his taxes on time for once. Maybe he can change that too?

  21. LWitherspoon

    @L boogie
    It would be easier to understand your comment if it were in English.
    I don’t know much about Chris Perone but it’s clear that he’s not one of those elected officials whose priority is mainly self-promotion and getting photographed by the media taking credit for the accomplishments of others. I did see Perone speak once and he appeared to have a very good command of the issues and the English language. So David Watts is pretty much the opposite of Rep. Perone.
    Not only is Rep. Perone an eight-year incumbent Democrat, he is Assistant Majority Leader! The improbable nature of David Watts moving into another district just to challenge such a strong fellow Democrat with a primary has me thinking that winning election is not Watts’s goal with this exploratory committee. There’s some other game afoot.

  22. Don’t Panic

    Well said @Faberga-Lopez.

  23. L boogie

    Watts stands up for the working poor and the people a without a computer. These guys in Hartford are not doing anything great. Come on?

    Maybe the FBI got lost when they stop by a Norwalk state rep. home at 7am. Wake up, Mr. State Rep can you tell me how to to main ave? Dont think so.

  24. LWitherspoon

    @David Watts
    When you say “these guys in Hartford” who exactly do you mean? Your fellow Democrats, headed by Gov. Malloy?
    I fear you’re thinking too small with your idea for a primary against your fellow Democrat Rep. Chris Perone. How about running in a primary against Gov. Malloy? You wouldn’t need to change districts to do that, and if you win you get free housing.

  25. Asa H.M.

    Ugly all around. Why isn’t the Norwalk DTC taking a stand on who should be the candidate? Oh…because they are not capable of functioning as a group either! And why are we talking about a race that is 15 months away? First, the DTC should have shown leadership in the current race for Mayor. It should be between Mr. Miklave and Mr. Garfunkle, two solid citizens with a track record of experience and service. They should have told Mr. Mangiacopra to spend a few years learning the ropes of Norwalk and its government by joining a committee, running for BOE or Common Council….before he can jump into the fray for Mayor. They should have told Mr. Rilling that even if he was a Democrat back in the 1980’s, his recent conversion from “nothing” to democrat also meant he should take time to prove his worth by continuing on the Zoning commission and other governmental entities. The fault for all this dysfunction is the local party that can’t seem to act in any leadership capacity. Has anyone even seen or heard from their leader, Ms. Brown, since the “brawl”? Even she is hiding. The Norwalk Dems need a leadership body that looks at the actual qualifications of its candidates and guides the party towards the BEST person for the job. In this case, Chris Perone, with his experience, awards, and respect within the STATE should win over Mr. Watts before he even floats the idea of a challenge.

  26. L boogie

    @ Asa Hm
    I think thats is called the GOP and I thought MR Miklave was the outsider refomer guy. Primary system is called Democracy. If DTC picked him its ok. However picking Vinny or MR. Rilling is bad. Give me a break.Harry is a good man and Vinny comes to South Norwalk all the
    time. Why doesnt Miklave come down here? The best
    guys are Vinny and Rilling. Let the people decide not
    insiders like Miklave.

    FBl comes to your house at 7 am asking questions. Mr.
    State Rep should tell the public why Feds paid him a visit and clear up any misunderstanding.

    Miklave is not a refomer he just wants toss current dems and replace with his puppets.

  27. Don’t Panic

    “Miklave is not a refomer he just wants toss current dems and replace with his puppets.”
    Pot, meet kettle. What do you think Mr. Mangiacopra and Mr. Watts mean when they refer to replacing the old guard?
    Mr. Miklave has outlined a clear plan to find savings in the budget, using a proven process that has worked in other cities across the country. Promises are easy…process is hard. Mr. Miklave has put in the time on the council and shown he is committed to Norwalk.

  28. L boogie

    I just think it is ironic that a Miklave supporter would make such a statement. The DTC did not pick Mr. Mr.Milkave however he decided to run on a reformer message. Now, it is clear he just wants to hand pick the DTC and supports the political elitist.

    @ DP. Asa message is very clear MIklave wants puppets .
    Really? Sounds un american and not very democratic to me.

    What are the Norwalk reps doing in Hartford? I just think if the FBI comes to your door at 7am it might be time to retire. Mr. State Rep should explain why they at his home and his supporters should demand it.

  29. Suzanne

    Saying Mr. Miklave wants to reform the DTC as an exercise in hand-picking “puppets” is like saying a good manager is not allowed to choose their own management team. See the new Superintendent of Education, Mr. Rivera, and the recent requests he has made to get the school district into shape. Are his actions those of a reformer or he just picking “puppets” to run a complex department the best way? The DTC is clearly in need of reform: changing its leadership is a step in the right direction if the Democrats are going to turn from narcissism to service. This entire discussion, to my mind, is premature and selfish. There is a primary coming up of great importance to the leadership and administration of this town, in crisis and stagnating. Taking away print time, air time, any time from that crucial event to the health of our Town seems premature, at best, and, again, selfish and antithetical to what a leader is supposed to be: of service to their community, their constituency, their voters. Relinquish the limelight for the next few months and let us discuss your desires and self-promotion next year.

  30. L boogie

    @ Suzanne,

    I agree you we to focus on this years election. However, cleaning out whole DTC is a little over the top to me. Being a puppet master is not very democratic.

    I thought he was for reform and not controlled by party
    insiders. His supporters want to replace current insiders
    with his own puppets. Wow!

    One of Miklave supporters claimed insiders should have
    picked him and shutdown Vinny’s and Rilling campaign. Hey, that is not very democratic.

    His supporters mention the brawl at city hall but openly support a state rep who got a 7am visit from the FBI.

    What a joke?

  31. Suzanne

    L boogie, You have provided no supportive documentation as to your claims that Mr. Miklave wants to remove EVERYONE from the DTC. Clearly, based on well-documented conflicts within the DTC, SOME need to be removed and there needs to be legitimate reform. Being able to select people with whom you can manage an organization is perfectly appropriate for the Superintendent of Schools and seems to have been appropriate for every mayor to my recollection. Our President of the United States selects his cabinet for advice, direction and leadership. Our mayor gets to do the same thing. There is no “puppetry” involved – wow.

  32. D(ysfunctional)TC

    @David Watts. What’s behind your claim about the FBI and Perone? Was he indicted or arrested or something? Why not be a man and call him a crook straight up instead of your childish innuendo. Better yet, give us another Youtube this time with a law and order feel. You haven’t embarrassed yourself enough recently. Looking forward to your next amateur effort.

  33. L boogie


    You know how to contact Watts. My name is L boogie and I am not changing me name. I am on the site to state my views. I did not call anybody a crook. I am just saying going into my cousin background they should look into the other dude too.

    Just keeping real

    @Suzanne I like your style however, reform is a good thing however, installing puppets is not cool.

  34. Candy

    Hey L Boogie to the Watts,
    You keep bringing up the FBI and State Rep Perrone (in spite of your atrocious spelling, btw it’s something you really should work on.). So, Just what are you getting at? Your coded words are repeated over and over but your not offering up anything. As Omar Little once said “Do tell!” Do tell…

  35. L boogie


    The next time you question someone spelling you might want to take your own advice. The correct spelling of his name is Perone not Perrone.

    Right back at you buddy.

  36. Candy

    Hey L Boogie to the Watts,
    You going to throw a little something behind what your singing? What’s the the FBI and Perrone?

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