Norwalk Democrat To Premiere Documentary On Convicted Legislator

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NORWALK, Conn. – A former Bridgeport legislator who served five years in federal prison for political corruption is the focus of a documentary produced by a Norwalk Democrat.

The film chronicling last days of former state Sen. Ernie Newton's comeback campaign is scheduled to premiere Oct. 24 at the Bijou Theatre in Bridgeport, producer Vinny Mangiacopra, president of the Preferred Group Communications and a member of the Norwalk Democratic Town Committee, said in a statement. The newly released two-minute trailer is shown above.

Newton was released from prison in 2010, returned to Bridgeport and ran for the seat he vacated when he was incarcerated, the statement says. Seeking to again represent one of the poorest districts in Connecticut, he ran on the message of "Redemption and Opportunity for Our Community."

"We need redemption as people, to rise up and take back our communities to save our kids," Newton said, according to the statement. "That's what the redemption piece means, more than for myself, it means for a community. We need to be engaged, we need to love one another, help one another."

Although Newton was an underdog, he won the Democratic Party nomination in May, losing by a slim margin in the Aug. 14 Democratic primary, Mangiacopra said. 

It is an important message that needs to be heard, he says. "Within all of the millions of dollars being spent on political campaigning, you hear very little about how leaders are going to make life better for people in these types of communities," said Mangiacopra, a member of the class of 2000 at Notre Dame Catholic High School in Fairfield. "Our story tells the tale of the desperate need for redemption and opportunities for communities that were once great, filled with neighborhood pride and jobs, but are now riddled by violence and poverty. Ernie's campaign was about risking all of the public scrutiny in order to shine a light on what's taking place in our streets."

The hourlong film features a series of sit-down interviews, campaign events, strategy sessions, personal stories and the riveting moments when the final results were revealed.

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