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Four-Candidate Ballot Set For Norwalk Democratic Mayoral Primary

Clockwise, from top left: Matt Miklave, Harry Rilling, Andy Garfunkel and Vinny Mangiacopra all collected enough signatures to be featured on the ballot for Norwalk's Democratic mayoral primary.
Clockwise, from top left: Matt Miklave, Harry Rilling, Andy Garfunkel and Vinny Mangiacopra all collected enough signatures to be featured on the ballot for Norwalk's Democratic mayoral primary. Photo Credit: Contributed

NORWALK, Conn. – It’s officially a four-person race for the Democratic nomination in for Norwalk mayor. Four candidates collected enough signatures to be included on the primary ballot next month.

The Norwalk Democratic Town Committee did not nominate a candidate at its convention July 16, after none of the four reached a majority after nine ballots. Candidates needed to gather 775 signatures , or 5 percent of Norwalk’s registered Democrats, by 4 p.m. Wednesday to be included in the primary.

Former Police Chief Harry Rilling, Democratic Party District D Chair Vinny Mangiacopra, Common Council member Matt Miklave and former Town Clerk Andy Garfunkel all entered petitions for the primary, said Democratic Registrar of Voters Stuart Wells.

Rilling was the first to file, turning in his first wave of signatures last week. By Wednesday’s deadline, he had gathered “over 1,000” signatures, Wells said, the most of any candidate.

“It is nice to know you have friends when the going gets tough,” Rilling said in a press release. “As I went door?to-door, folks gave me water, some offered food, and some offered ideas and advice for the campaign. There really is an overwhelmingly positive feeling about my candidacy amongst the people of Norwalk.”

Mangiacopra was next to file, reaching the minimum on Monday. Wells estimates Mangiacopra had more than 950 signatures but did not have an exact count as of the Wednesday deadline.

Miklave and Garfunkel each had more than 800 signatures filed at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

“Thank you voters and volunteers,” Miklave tweeted Monday.

The four are competing for the right to face four-term incumbent Mayor Richard Moccia, who won the nomination to seek his fifth term at the Republican Town Committee caucus July 22.

The Democratic primary is scheduled for Sept. 10. Only registered Democrats are eligible to vote in the primary per state law. Residents have until noon Monday, Sept. 9, to register to vote if they wish to cast their ballots in the primary.

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