NORWALK, Conn. – Former Police Chief Harry Rilling is drawing closer to announcing a run for mayor this fall, potentially the fourth Democrat to enter the race to unseat incumbent Republican Mayor Richard Moccia.
Rilling, who currently serves on the Norwalk Zoning Commission, retired as police chief in July after serving in that capacity for 17 years. He was a member of the force for 41 years.
News of his prospective mayoral run has been percolating throughout the city’s political landscape for months, and a formal announcement is expected this weekend.
When reached Tuesday morning, Rilling said he had not yet filed his candidacy paperwork with the clerk’s office, and he said he would not speak about the announcement. Rilling is expected to make his announcement Sunday, according to published reports.
“I’m declining all comment on that at this time,” Rilling said. “We’ll send out a press release about the announcement at the appropriate time.”
Rilling would join a crowded field of Democrats for the party’s nomination to take on Moccia, who is seeking his fifth term.
District D Democratic Chairman Vinny Mangiacopra and former Town Clerk Andy Garfunkel both have launched campaigns, and Common Councilman Matt Miklave has formed an exploratory committee.
Garfunkel, who ran a solid but ultimately unsuccessful campaign against Moccia two years ago, has stepped down as District A Democratic chairman to concentrate on his mayoral campaign and called on Mangiacopra to do the same.
"Our city needs a mayor with the experience, credibility and vision to bring it to the next level,” said Garfunkel in a statement. “My sole focus over the next several months will be communicating with the people of Norwalk and explaining to them why I'm that man."