It's official ... Moccia to run for Norwalk mayor again
Posted: Friday, January 30, 2009
Robert Koch - Hour Staff Writer
With a reference to Rocky Balboa, the film legend boxer, and a promise to get Norwalk through difficult economic times in a nonpartisan manner, Republican Mayor Richard A. Moccia announced Thursday night his bid for a third two-year term.
"'Yo, Tommy! I didn't hear no bell! One more round!'" Moccia told cheering supporters at the Norwalk Inn & Conference Center on East Avenue. "I'm not Rocky. I'm not down. But I didn't hear no bell. One more time!"
Rejecting Democrats' assertions that he hasn't had any initiatives during his three years in office, Moccia cited the formation of the Norwalk Advisory Commission on the Arts and Culture.
He then urged all to tackle "the difficult challenges" facing the city in a nonpartisan fashion.
"We don't need to make the challenges more difficult," Moccia said. "It has to be about the people, not partisanship. This campaign is going to start and will continue to emphasize the people, because in the long run, it's not about the politics, it's about Norwalk."
About 100 people attended Moccia's re-election bid announcement, including his wife Barbara; Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele; state House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr., R-142; and state Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-28.
"His leadership, his ability to listen, his ability to get things done are going to be beneficial," Fedele said.
Cafero said Norwalk residents four years ago "thought it was time for a change" and "a better direction."
"We, as a citizenry, turned to a man to take us in that better direction," Cafero said. "He listened to what we had to say, our
concerns, our hopes, our dreams, and he took action. We don't ask for much. We just want our roads paved and our schools to be ready for our kids. This man has delivered."
Also present was Democratic Councilman Fred A. Bondi.
"I'm bipartisan -- just like Dick mentioned up there," Bondi told The Hour. "We should all be working for the people. That's who elected us."
Fred Wilms, chairman of the Board of Estimate and Taxation, said he was thrilled that Moccia is running again.
"I've worked very closely with him these last three years," Wilms said. "I've seen firsthand his good grasp of government, and how in touch he is with the pulse of the community."
Moccia, a former councilman, Republican Town Committee chairman, Charter Revision Commission chairman, and fire commissioner, defeated Democrat Walter O. Briggs, 7,763 to 5,174, in the city's 2007 municipal election. He defeated incumbent Democrat Alex Knopp, 8,259 to 8,083, in the 2005 municipal election.
So far, no Democrat has stepped forward to run against Moccia. A number of names, however, have been circulated, including that of state Rep. Bruce V. Morris, D-140, former Councilman Michael W. Coffey, and current Council-woman Amanda M. Brown.
"I am pleased to be considered a worthy candidate, (but) no decisions have been made yet," said Brown, chairwoman of the council's Ordinance Com-mittee, earlier Thursday. "I understand that there are potential (Democratic) mayoral candidates in line ahead of me, but if the opportunity arose, I would definitely consider it."
Republicans are expected to nominate Moccia as their 2009 mayoral candidate at the Republican Town Committee convention in July.
Art Scialabba, Republican Town Committee chairman, said paperwork will be filed shortly with the Town Clerk's Office, establishing a campaign committee for which Moccia may proceed with fundraising.
"Hopefully, by the convention, he will have raised a significant amount of money to help secure his spot, and has enough money in his re-election coffers to run a reasonable campaign," Scialabba said.
Earlier Thursday, Scialabba relaunched Moccia's campaign Web site from 2007. The Web site, found at www.mocciaformayor.com, will be updated and used for the 2009 campaign, according to Scialabba.