NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk’s Democrats will pick their candidate Tuesday to run in November’s mayoral race against Mayor Richard Moccia.
Four candidates are on the ballot for Tuesday’s primary: Andy Garfunkel, Vinny Mangiacopra, Matt Miklave and Harry Rilling. Here is some background information on all four candidates:
Garfunkel was Norwalk’s town clerk from 2001-11. His term ended when he decided to run for mayor in 2011, when he lost to incumbent Moccia, 7,950 votes to 6,755. Currently, Garfunkel works in real estate for William Raveis.
“I am proud to have served this community for the past decade and I am looking forward to putting my experience to good use as your next Mayor,” Garfunkel told supporters on his Facebook page Monday.
Miklave currently represents District A on the Common Council, and also served on the council from 2001-07. Professionally, he works as an attorney based out of New York.
When asked how he would campaign against Moccia this fall, Miklave said at a debate last month, “I know that with a campaign of change, when you present people with a real choice, not some platitude and empty promise, that a real choice with real ideas will win the day.”
Mangiacopra is currently the District D Chair for the Norwalk Democratic Town Committee. He has previously worked on local Congressional campaigns, and in the Bridgeport Probate Court and Monroe’s Department of Economic Development. He currently works as a president of a local communications firm.
“[Voters] want someone who will work harder for Norwalk. They want someone who’s going to represent all people,” Mangiacopra said in response to the same question, adding that he believes he can gain support from Republicans and unaffiliated voters if he wins the primary.
Rilling was Norwalk’s police chief for 17 years until his retirement in 2012, and now works as a compliance manager for a liquor distributor. He was appointed to the Norwalk Zoning Commission last August.
“I will convince [voters] that I will be the mayor that will listen to the people, that will fight for the people, that will hear them, and that will accommodate them,” Rilling said at the same debate.
For more on the candidate’s policies, see their responses from a debate held in August here, or click on each candidate’s name above for his platform as listed on his official website.
Based on The Daily Voice’s unscientific poll last week, Rilling is the front-runner. Rilling received 42 percent of the vote in a poll posted on the Norwalk Daily Voice on Friday. As of Monday evening. Miklave was second with 29 percent in the unofficial poll.
Polls will be open for the Democratic primary from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. The 13 polling places used for municipal elections will all be open. To find your polling place, use the online search tool offered by the Registrars of Voters.
Only registered Democrats are eligible to vote in the primary. If you are unsure if you are registered with the party, you can check your status at the Secretary of the State’s website.