NORWALK, Conn. – The three announced Democratic candidates for the Norwalk mayor congratulated Mayor Richard Moccia on his decision to seek re-election, but they wasted no time in distinguishing themselves from the four-term incumbent.
"I congratulate the Mayor on coming to a decision,” said Common Council member Matt Miklave in a statement. “The upcoming campaign is going to provide an opportunity for a vigorous review of the city's operations and I look forward to bringing my ideas before the citizens of Norwalk.”
Miklave added, "As a Councilman, I've had the opportunity to bring a fresh perspective to discussions on the budget, education and on quality of life issues that Norwalkers care about. I think the well-attended public hearings over the past two years speak to a craving for a new approach and that is what we will be focusing on."
In addition to Miklave, former Town Clerk Andy Garfunkel, who ran against Moccia two years ago, is looking for another chance, and District D Democratic Chairperson Vinny Mangiacopra has also thrown his hat in the ring.
Former Police Chief Harry Rilling has made overtures to also run for mayor as a Democrat, but he has not yet formally announced.
"We're pleased that the Mayor is seeking another term,” said Mangiacopra in a statement. “He's the guy we want to run against."
Mangiacopra added, “There are many things that set us apart from the Mayor, I'll let my colleagues give their own reasons, but for me, there has to be a game plan and urgency brought to the tough issues. This administration is run day-to-day and reacts to the situations that occur. I want to bring a vision, energy and fierce advocacy on behalf of our citizens. We want to be in constant dialogue with our residents to identify problems before they fester and have the political will to make solutions the priority.”
David Jaeger, Garfunkel’s campaign director, said in a statement, “Coming so close in the last campaign proved that Andy has a wide range support from all corners of Norwalk. While elections can seem like a popularity contest Andy looks forward to a healthy debate on the Democratic side on how to get Norwalk moving back in the right direction.”