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Norwalk Mayoral Candidates Fit To Be Tied

NORWALK, Conn. -- Taxes, education, road paving--you've heard it all before. But there's one issue you may not be aware of as Norwalk's mayoral election draws closer.

That would be Matters Sartorial.

"It takes more than a bright tie ... to be a mayor," incumbent Richard Moccia said at the Republican convention , a shot across the colorful bow of Democratic challenger Andy Garfunkel.

It was the beginning of what might be called Tie-Gate. "I kidded Andy," Moccia said Friday in his office. At the time the mayor was wearing a reddish tie with light-colored dots over a white shirt with blue stripes--a combination he's been seen in many times.

"I have a very artistic eye," Garfunkel said. "I always had artistic ability. I just think colors are part of life, they're a joy. I get to wear some color during the day." He has ties in "every hue of color," he said.

"There's patterns, there's colors, there's so much diversity in a tie," he said. "Why wear the same black tie every day?"

Garfunkel guessed he has about 120 ties. Clearly, he's ahead of Moccia in that department: Norwalk's mayor says he owns about 50 ties.

"I have one of those electronic tie racks," the mayor said, "[in] whatever room my wife leaves me" in the closet. The ties hang low, and rotate upwards.

Garfunkel could not be reached about the specifics of how he stores his ties, but he said Friday, "I'm very well-organized at home. I coordinate everything."

Both the mayor and his challenger are lagging behind another Norwalk politician in the quantity department: Rick McQuaid, president of the Common Council, owns "hundreds." Believe it or not. (The Daily Norwalk was unable to find a photo of McQuaid in a tie.)

"If you see me wearing a tie, it's a special occasion," McQuaid said. Garfunkel and Moccia might not want to borrow a tie from McQuaid, though. The Naramake Elementary School interventions specialist has gotten them as gifts from children, and they feature "sports teams, cars, SpongeBobs, everything."

Garfunkel has "gotten more conservative over the last few years," so the closest he can probably come is a Jerry Garcia tie , a holdover from the wild and crazy tie days of yore.

While McQuaid admitted he has noticed that Garfunkel dresses well, state Sen. Bob Duff said, "I would never comment on another man's fashion." Duff has about 40 ties┬ľnone of them gifts. "I'm very particular about my ties," he said. He selects them--no one else is allowed.

Garfunkel said some of his ties are gifts, but donations have tailed off. "I don't think people buy me ties anymore because I have so many," he said. He doesn't know why his ties would get any special comment. "I buy them in the same places as everybody else," he said.

Moccia depends on gifts. "Some of them are getting a little worn," he said. "I've got a birthday coming up ... maybe some people will take a hint."

Who do you think has better ties, Moccia or Garfunkel? Vote below.

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