NORWALK, Conn. – With less than two weeks to go before Election Day, local groups are lining up to endorse the two candidates in the Norwalk mayoral race.
Former Police Chief Harry Rilling has secured endorsements from Norwalk’s public safety workers. The local firefighters’ union and his former employees in the police officers’ union both issued public endorsements for Rilling last week.
A group of Latino leaders organized by Common Council member Warren Pena endorsed Rilling in a public appearance Thursday afternoon. Rilling had also secured endorsements from African-American community leaders before the primary, including local and state politicians and the head of the local chapter of the NAACP.
For Mayor Richard Moccia, a group called Indian-Americans for Moccia held a campaign event for the mayor Wednesday evening at Aladin restaurant. State Rep. Tony Hwang (R-Fairfield and Trumbull) also expressed his support for Moccia at the event.
Norwalk’s Democrats held a “unity event” Tuesday to show their support for Rilling and the rest of the ticket. Among those expressing their support for Rilling included State Sen. Bob Duff, former mayor Bill Collins and the candidate who finished second to Rilling in the Democratic primary, Vinny Mangiacopra.
“In what has been a historic election year, Harry Rilling has proved that he is the man to move Norwalk forward,” said Mangiacopra. “Harry has proved that he will be a uniting figure on the behalf of progress for our city.
State-level leaders have also lined up behind the candidates along party lines. Rilling has fund-raisers planned with Gov. Dannel Malloy and U.S. Rep. Jim Himes this weekend, according to his campaign website.
Moccia has his own events planned for the days before the election, with State House Republican Leader Larry Cafero and State Senate Minority Leader John McKinney.
In a Norwalk Daily Voice poll posted last week, Moccia held a large lead over Rilling, including a number of recent converts. The unscientific poll asked voters who they supported, and if they had changed their vote since Rilling won the Democratic Primary on Sept. 10.
Of those that voted in the poll, 72 percent said they supported Moccia, including 26 percent of the total who said they had changed their vote to Moccia since September. About 26 percent said they supported Rilling, including 10 percent of the whole who had changed their vote to Rilling since the nomination. The remaining 2 percent were still undecided.