Young would-be Norwalk senator looks toward future

Israel Navarro,
Israel Navarro, 20, said his family was very involved in Puerto Rican politics. His father once ran for Norwalk Common Council, he said.

NORWALK, Conn. – A political newcomer who challenged five-term State Sen. Bob Duff (D-25) before abruptly withdrawing said he has no plans to disappear from public life and that he has learned lessons from his brief foray into Democratic affairs.

Israel Navarro also said the reason he left the campaign so abruptly was his mother’s struggle for life.

Navarro, a 2012 Brien McMahon High School graduate, announced in February that he was taking on the popular five-term incumbent Duff. A source said at the time that Navarro, who was 19 years old at the time, would easily be able to get the six delegates he would need in the district convention to force a primary, but Navarro did not appear at the convention. That was only a week after the candidate released a video attacking Duff.

“The reason I didn’t continue in the candidacy is my mom, she got very ill,” Navarro said Wednesday. “… She’s recovered now but she’s not in a full recovery yet. She’s going to need my attention and everything so I basically gave up the candidacy, gave up the race and everything just to be with her.”

His mom was in Norwalk Hospital for a month, he said.

The idea to release the video came from his campaign.

“They decided to drop the video,” he said. “At the time, with my whole mom thing, I was, ‘Fine, do whatever,’ because my mind was in Norwalk Hospital, but physically I was showing up places. So they dropped the video. Obviously, I understand a lot of people did not like my actions of dropping the video but it’s something, it’s done and you know you can’t switch out of it.”

He acknowledged that the timing of the video gave the impression that he was in for the fight.

“In the end, seeing how my mom was, I was like, ‘Yeah I’m done.’ It doesn’t mean I won’t ever decide to run again,” he said. “But this time I will do it on a more mature scale and let everything sit. I’m still going to be actively involved.”

Navarro represents the newly formed Latinos Unidos (LUC) at community events and in dealings with local leaders. LUC was formed to advocate for the Latino community and to help encourage Latino participation in everything from social events to education and politics.

He said he is helping his mother continue to recover. “She’s not in the way that she used to be and it requires a lot of my time to be with her,” he said.

Navarro said Duff is acting like a mentor toward him.

“That was kind of Israel to say,” Duff said in an email. “I’m always happy to help those who want to serve.”

“I have talked to Sen. Duff,” Navarro said. “He respected my decision to run because he saw why I came to run because obviously, as he said, I never decided to run for an ego boost. He saw that and he said, ‘because you wanted to help your community, help the people and you wanted to see change, you wanted to see change for the people in the community, and that’s something.’ I do have a nice relationship. We have talked multiple times. He’s always asked me how my mom is doing and everything. … (I’m) still being involved in the Democratic Party and everything. I’ll be working with Sen. Duff on his campaign as well as other issues in the city.”


4 responses to “Young would-be Norwalk senator looks toward future”

  1. Rod Lopez-Fabrega

    Mr. Navarro: I chided you when you entered the campaign. Now, I complement you for the reasons you cite for dropping out, and I also wish you Mom the best and a speedy recovery.

    It is clear that you have also learned some valuable political lessons, and we look forward to the directions you life takes as a budding politico. Every party badly needs new blood, and you are living proof and you can encourage other young people to participate.

    Also, you have shown us once again (as he offered you sympathy and encouragement) how Bob Duff is a really classy person–both as a politician and more importantly as a human being.

  2. New Era

    This kid will make it far!!!!!

  3. spanner

    Wish him luck, focus on Bob Duffs big victory this week.Puppy laws were Bobs big thing.The bill will require the State Commissioner of Agriculture to develop a standard of care applicable to in-state dog and cat breeders by Dec. 31, 2014

    Problem with that is the Dept of Agriculture is under staffed over worked and and now seems a catch all for Bobs new grandstand law.A new law with how many new employees?Amazing how Bob can make news and forget the minor details the cost and logistics of implementing a new law.This is where new blood might focus on real issues and and what they cost.

    New sidewalks? ask Bob Duff about the one at the corner of Burritt and Woodward ave? When he had the no trucks thru rule made it was pointed out the street is too small for trucks. The sidewalk there has a fence that gets hit all the time,State highway should be a State expense our councilors nees help in the State house lets find someone who can help Norwalk.

    When Bob was on the transportation committee he did a lot of things questionable Metro North was one of them he didn’t have solutions then and still doesn’t now.

    My posting was in direct response to what new blood can look at go back and make right,the list was small compared to what has or hasn’t been done in twenty years.

    Bobs Duffs goal is not Norwalk this next term its State wide control,who will take care of Norwalk while he is out of the office?

  4. One and Done.

    Hey, you are losing your health care and your doctor. But look, your pets will be covered. Thanks Bob. We’ll all sleep better now.

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