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Norwalk Mayoral Candidates Start Petitions For Primary

Norwalk's four Democratic mayoral candidates each will try to gather enough signatures to participate in a primary for the party's nomination.
Norwalk's four Democratic mayoral candidates each will try to gather enough signatures to participate in a primary for the party's nomination. Photo Credit: Alfred Branch

NORWALK, Conn. – The four Democratic mayoral candidates vying to be the party’s nominee in November to face Republican incumbent Mayor Richard Moccia took out petitions Wednesday to gather signatures for a primary, Norwalk’s Democratic Registrar of Voters announced.

Former Town Clerk Andy Garfunkel, District D Democratic Chairman Vinny Mangiacopra, Common Councilman Matt Miklave and former Police Chief Harry Rilling each need to gather the signatures 775 registered Democrats by Aug. 7 to be on the ballot for the Sept. 10 primary.

The four launched their efforts to mount primary challenges following Tuesday night’s Democratic nominating caucus, where none of them could land the knockout blow to gain the party’s nomination. More than a half dozen ballot votes were conducted Tuesday with Rilling and Mangiacopra generally leading the pack, but Garfunkel and Miklave each having teams that can just as easily rise to the primary challenge.

Democratic Registrar of Voters Stuart Wells said he expects all four will gather enough signatures. Norwalk has more than 15,480 registered Democrats of which 775 represents 5 percent. He estimates the primary will cost the city close to $40,000.

Only registered Democrats can sign petitions, and Wells provided each candidate’s team with a master list of the city’s Democrats. People can sign more than one candidates’ petition, but they cannot sign an individual candidate’s petition more than once.

“Everyone was aware of this likelihood,” Wells said. “They would be out campaigning anyway, so it shouldn't be too difficult for them to get the signatures. It’s a doable number.”

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