Thursday, November 03, 2005

Municipal Elections: Norwalk

The most interesting thing about Norwalk this year is the mayoral race, which is turning on a crime issue that could turn out to be a phantom.

Norwalk Statistics
  • Population: 84,170

  • Registered Voters (2004): 48,755
        Democrats: 14,541
        Republicans: 10,853
        Independent: 22,542
        Minor Parties: 816

  • U.S. Congressional District: 4 (Rep. Christopher Shays-R)

  • State Senate District: 25 (Robert Duff-D)

  • State House Districts: 137 (Chris Perone-D), 140 (Joseph Mann-D), 141 (John Ryan-R), 142 (Lawrence Cafero-R), 143 (Toni Boucher-R)

  • 2004 Presidential Vote
        John Kerry: 20,615
        George W. Bush: 14,201

  • 2004 Congressional Vote
        Diane Farrell (D): 17,720
        Christopher Shays (R): 15,426

  • Form of Government: Mayor/common council

  • Common Council: Controlled by Democrats

  • Mayor: Alex Knopp (D)


Seven murders have been committed in Norwalk this year. In a relatively quiet city unused to violent crime (Norwalk's been averaging 1-2 homocides/year), the sudden spike in murders has focused the 2005 campaign on crime. Democratic Mayor Alex Knopp, who won election in 2001 following the defeat of longtime Republican mayor Frank Esposito, claims that Norwalk is safer (overall crime is down by 12%, despite the spike in violent crime), but challenger Richard Moccia disagrees. This paragraph from a Stamford Advocate article sums up the general thrust of the mayoral campaign:

Is Norwalk "widely regarded as a city on the move," as Democratic Mayor Alex Knopp says, or plagued, as Republican challenger Richard Moccia argues, by dangerous streets, falling student test scores and a "total fiasco" of a parking system?

Got it. The Norwalk Common Council, currently controlled 13-2(!) by the Democrats, is also up for re-election, and the issues driving these races are many and varied. Historic preservation is an issue in one district, while parking is an issue in another.


Unless every Democrat in Norwalk stays home to watch TV next Tuesday, Democrats will keep a wide majority on the Common Council. As for the mayoral race, Moccia seems desperate and negative to me, and he has the added drawback of having lost to Knopp two years ago. If enough people are annoyed about parking and crime, Knopp could lose... but I doubt it.

Norwalk Links

Norwalk Democrats
Norwalk Republicans
Knopp for Mayor
Moccia for Mayor

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