NORWALK, Conn. – Former Norwalk Police Chief Harry Rilling has received the endorsements of former Mayors Bill Collins and Alex Knopp, as Rilling campaigns for the Democratic nomination in his quest for the city’s top office.
Rilling officially launched his campaign for mayor last month and is running against fellow Democrats Andy Garfunkel, Vinny Mangiacopra and Matt Miklave. One will move on to face four-term incumbent Republican Mayor Richard Moccia.
"To bring serious progress to a city, the Mayor needs both managerial skill and long-range vision. Norwalk is finally in luck in finding a candidate like that," said Collins in a statement. Collins served two stints as mayor from 1977 to 1981 and 1983 to 1987. "Harry Rilling has mastered the messy work of running a big department, learned to gain wisdom from the shared experiences of his colleagues nationwide, and shown from his actions on the Zoning Commission that he can figure out what's coming over the next hill. He is ready to be mayor, and Norwalk is more than ready for his abilities."
Knopp, who preceded Moccia, said he enthusiastically supports the former police chief because of Rilling’s energy, managerial experience and “ability to rise above the partisan bickering and factional infighting” that he believes has hurt Norwalk.
"My work with Harry Rilling during my administration shows me that he is the right person to lead Norwalk away from the managerial indifference and partisan deadlock that is holding back Norwalk's progress,” Knopp said in a statement. “Harry is the best candidate to bring our city a more effective government and genuine civic pride."
Rilling thanked the former mayors for their support. "I'm very grateful to Mayor Collins and Mayor Knopp for their support because they have shown how a mayor with vision, a commitment to managerial excellence and a respect for the opinions of all residents can create a heritage of achievement in Norwalk's municipal government that lasts far beyond their terms in office."
He added, "I look forward to working closely with them in my campaign to become the next Mayor and to govern for the benefit of all residents of Norwalk."