Speculation abounds on Tuesday’s primary

NORWALK, Conn. – It’s been 38 years since the last primary in a Norwalk mayoral race, so no one really knows what is going to happen – right?

OK, there are opinions everywhere. Here are a few we’ve heard:

Word is the Mayor Richard Moccia is hoping that Vinny Mangiacopra wins the primary. The Working Families Party won’t endorse him, according to a source, and Moccia is hoping Harry Rilling takes that slot on the ballot. Republicans won’t vote for Rilling if they think there’s a possibility Mangiacopra will become mayor, the source said. So, if there’s a three-way race, Moccia wins. (We have to say we didn’t get that impression when we were talking to the mayor.)

Another source said Rilling won’t take a Working Families candidacy if offered. He’s had enough problems with people refusing to believe he’s a Democrat. That would kill his credibility.

Mangiacopra and Rilling might cancel each other out, making Miklave the winner, one person said.

Andy Garfunkel is betting on his name recognition and the fact that his name is first on the ballot someone opined.

Voter turnout? There are 16,000 registered Democrats in Norwalk. The last primary, for Gov. Jodi Rell, only drew 35 percent of Republicans. A similar level of interest would draw 5,600 Democrats to the polls, but this is a mayoral primary, which you might think would draw less interest than a governor. Miklave’s estimate of 5,000 voters is inflated, an experienced source said.


2 responses to “Speculation abounds on Tuesday’s primary”

  1. Daisy

    Moccia’s looking at his 5th term, which I personally have no problem with, but these idiot Dems are shooting themselves in the foot. He must be doing the happy dance.

  2. Piberman

    The Democratic 4 way mayoral primary fundamentally illustrates the dysfunctional nature of Norwalk Democrats. The DTC sat on the sidelines allowing precious time, energies and monies to be expended during a period when the Party ought to have gathered its resources to create a viable campaign. On one hand we commend the 4 candidates for their efforts. On the other and the victor of a 4 way primary invariably emerges in a weakened position vis-a-vis a single party selected candidate. In effect the 4 candidates have each run campaigns as if they were Independent candidates without Democrat support.

    Going forward the real challenge of the primary victor remains crafting a winning campaign. That will take some OpEds and position papers. Not just more mailers. At day’s end the Democrats will have selected a candidate but the Party will be more divided than at any time in modern memory. Many voters will question whether Democrats can be “trusted” to manage Norwalk’s governance as a result of the 4 way primary and recent behaviors of DTC officials and members.

    Long time residents remember when Norwalk was an admired community in part because it had two (and sometimes three) vigorous political parties. No City does best under long periods of one party rule when the opposition party basically sits out the game. We’ve lost a whole generation of potentially active Democrats in Norwalk. Unfortunately there is no near term solution to reviving the Norwalk Democrat Party. Save a complete turnover off the DTC and that looks completely unlikely. No matte how many election losses it oversees.

    Come November Norwalk Democrats may well protest the obvious failures of their party’s leadership by staying away from the polls or crossing over. Even party members favorably inclined to support the Party’s candidate may elect to sit out and demonstrate that its time to field a new DTC. So interpreting November’s results may be quite a challenge beyond identifying the obvious victor. One cannot imagine a more favorable opponent for Norwalk’s GOP than the befuddled DTC. It’s hard to recall any other city in modern times in CT where the leaders of a political party have fallen to such low public esteem. That is a true tragedy for all us.

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