By Delia Petti
NORWALK, Conn. – This is the first time in recent Norwalk political history that the Democratic Party has had an over-abundant field of mayoral candidates. Three of the four candidates currently running for the mayoral position have served the Democratic Party in a substantive manner over the years. Andy Garfunkel served as the Democratic Town Clerk for 10 years and ran as the 2011 Democratic Mayoral candidate, Matt Miklave, Esq. served on the Common Council for 10 years as a Democrat out of District A and Vinny Mangiacopra has worked on several Democratic candidate campaigns during the past 10 years and is currently serving as the Chairman of District D.
Harry Rilling has distinguished himself from the others. He has only been a Democrat for about three months and was appointed to the Planning & Zoning Commission as an unaffliated voter, which he has said was his designation because his former job as police chief required him to remain neutral on political affairs. However, in July 2011 on the 20th during the Republican Town Committee Convention, according to an article by The Hour, Chief of Police Harry W. Rilling, whose contract was to expire in December 2012 said, “Congratulations on your anticipated nomination. Thank you for being a great boss.”
While Andy Garfunkel was actively campaigning as a Democrat for Moccia’s seat, Rilling was lending his community leadership credibility in favor of Republicans and aligning himself against the Democratic Party and those that ran on the 2011 ticket, such as Matt Miklave (candidate for in-district “A” councilman), Vinny Mangicopra (candidate for sheriff ) and even Chairwoman Amanda M. Brown (candidate for in-district “C” councilman). I wonder if this information was brought to their attention before the Cinco de Mayo Meet and Greet.
This type of inconsistency calls into question the character of Harry Rilling. His behavior demonstrates the same type of political flip-flopping that the public is already wearied of. How could you praise Moccia in 2011 and run against him in 2013? “Electibility” or not, the old guard political machine behind Rilling should know that voters like me won’t be deceived by these tactics this time. There are actually three real Democrats to choose from that offer an improvement over Moccia, any day and any of his subordinates, so we “Democrats” will pick one of them.