Wilms state rep campaign qualifies for public funding

Fred Wilms has qualified for public campaign financing in his bid for the state rep seat being vacated by Larry Cafero.
Fred Wilms has qualified for public campaign financing in his bid for the state rep seat being vacated by Larry Cafero.

NORWALK, Conn. – Republican Fred Wilms has crossed the contribution threshold to qualify for public campaign funding through the Citizens Election Program in his pursuit of the state legislature seat currently held by fellow Norwalk GOPer Larry Cafero.

Wilms has received more than 150 contributions totaling more than $5,000 from residents of Norwalk and New Canaan, according to a press release from his “Fred Wilms 2014” campaign.

“We did it! We are now in excess of the 150 contribution and $5,000 qualifying thresholds,” Wilms said in the release. “I feel very gratified and honored by the enthusiasm my campaign is generating. I am especially pleased that I am drawing support from wide segments of the community.”

Campaign treasurer Bryan Meek expressed enthusiasm over how quickly Wilms reached the plateau.

“The contributions came in fast,” he said. “We formed the committee only two months ago. Fred announced his candidacy only a few weeks ago. To qualify in such a quick time frame shows the strength of Fred’s support.”

Wilms originally filed papers to form an exploratory committee, without designating an office, prior to Cafero’s decision to retire after 22 years in Hartford. Wilms declared his intent to pursue the 142nd District seat shortly after another Norwalk Republican, Zoning Board member Emily Wilson, announced her candidacy.

Wilson has not yet reached the threshold for public financing.

Former Norwalk Town Clerk Andy Garfunkel is the lone Democrat thus far to announce his candidacy for the seat. Garfunkel said last week he had garnered the necessary donations to qualify for public funds.

Wilms, who served as the Norwalk Board of Estimate and Taxation chairman under former Mayor Richard Moccia, said he believes in public service.

“For me, life is about being in service to causes greater than ourselves. I have been privileged to serve the Norwalk community in so many ways. Doing so, I have seen firsthand the problems we face which can only be fixed at the state level. These problems include high state taxes, high property taxes, insufficient funding for our schools, a stagnant Connecticut economy and no job growth. I was pleased to see so many residents agreeing that we need to address these problems.”

Wilms pledged to make school funding his top priority.

“The very first bill I introduce will be to bring more ECS (Education Cost Sharing) funding to Norwalk. While I recognize there are no simple solutions, I pledge to continually speak out on this important issue. My goal is to build allies and support over time to get us our fair share.

“Passing legislation that supports new job creation will be a priority,” he continued. “Connecticut ranks at the bottom. We need new jobs so our children remain in Connecticut, rather than move away. Our economic future is at stake.”

In addition to his time on the BET, Wilms has served as a member of the Common Council, on the Zoning Board of Appeals, as president of the Senior Center, as co-chairman of the Norwalk High Marching Bears Cavalcade and on the Columbus Magnet School PTO.

He is a senior vice president at Webster Bank where he works with small businesses in the Norwalk and lower Fairfield County areas. He is also an active member of the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce.


4 responses to “Wilms state rep campaign qualifies for public funding”

  1. Piberman

    Norwalk residents now have an unhappy choice between a former Town Clerk/ mayoral candidate and former BET Chair who oversaw a sharp increase in City spending and property taxes funding the highest salaries of any CT city. Rep. Cafero’s shoes will long remain unfilled.

  2. the donut hole

    Says the one person in the state that hates UConn.

  3. Oyster

    Wilms is also a former candidate for state rep and for state senate.

  4. anon

    Wilms has name recognition, a fiscal conservative even if his local Republican party isn’t, therefore, needed in Hartford.

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