NORWALK, Conn. Republican Mayor Richard Moccia won a fourth consecutive term Tuesday night, but there's a catch: There will be a Democratic majority on the Common Council, according to the votes tallied by Republicans at the Norwalk Inn.
Moccia had 7,217 votes, according to the unofficial tally, while Democratic challenger Andy Garfunkel had 6510. The Democrats will have eight seats on the council and the Republicans will have seven.
Moccia won with 52.5 percent of the vote, the lowest margin he has had since beating Alex Knopp in 2005. Democrats counting votes at the Hilton Garden Inn agreed that the Democrats had won a majority on the Common Council.
"My first two terms I worked with Democrats and I can do it again," Moccia said. "You have to show that you're doing the right thing, work with them on appointments, and that's what I intend to do and that's what I'm going to try to do."
Unofficially, the council will consist of Republicans Doug Hempstead, John Tobin, David McCarthy, Fred Bondi, Michelle Maggio, Nicholas Kydes and Jerry Petrini, and Democrats Anna Duleep, David Watts, Mathew Miklave, Sharon Stewart, Bruce Kimmel, John Igneri, Carvin Hilliard and Michael Geake.
Moccia credited the Democratic state party for getting the vote out and said his party needs to do better. But he said the Norwalk Republican Party fared well compared to what happened in the rest of the state. "I was fortunate enough because maybe people are familiar with me, so we bucked the trend," he said. "But I knew it was going to be a tough race because of that."
He said his team needs to get the people who come out for state elections to participate in the municipal election. "We have to figure out a way to do what the Democrats do and get the local vote out," he said. "I think it's important that we start to work in that direction."
He said Garfunkel ran a good campaign. "I told Andy when we talked, 'Great job on getting the vote out.' You know, he ran a campaign that was not much advertising, but more geared toward one-on-one contact and getting the vote out and he did a good job," he said. "He did a better job than we did with that. Certainly, Andy's not going anywhere, he ran a good race and I imagine he's going to stay involved. Always remember, the first time I ran I lost."
His wife, Barbara Moccia, said neither knew how the night would work out. "You're never sure," she said. "It's nerve-racking, but I have every faith in him, he works hard."
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