The Norwalk RTC has called a press conference for tomorrow at 11:30am at the the Registrar’s office at Norwalk City Hall, when “a current Democratic councilperson will be switching political parties and will be joining the Republican party in Norwalk.”
Any guesses as to whom it might be?
Edited 6/2/09 9:45am
According to the Norwalk Hour, it’s Fred A. Bondi as called in the comments.
“It’s got to be (Fred). Who else would it be? He’s pretty much gone over to that side anyway. He’s voting exclusively with them,” said Councilman Michael K. Geake, an at-large Democrat from South Norwalk.
Bondi, an East Norwalk resident, is the senior Democrat on the 15-member legislative body. He has served nearly 17 years on the council since first being elected in 1987. He is past council president, past council majority leader and currently chairman of its Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs Committee.
In recent years, Bondi often has voted alongside the council’s six Republicans. Democratic Town Committee leaders say such voting doesn’t reflect the wishes of the majority of Norwalk residents, who elected nine Democrats to the council in the city’s 2007 municipal elections.
Others say it demonstrates “bi-partisanship” and putting the city above politics.
“It’s unfortunate that’s it come to this. It’s no secret that there’s been some strife between Fred and the Democratic Party for some time,” said Phyllis Y. Bolden, current council president and Democrat. “I enjoyed serving with Fred and him being the veteran on the council. He was kind enough to help me out in areas where I wasn’t certain in the beginning and I appreciate it.”
In early 2008, Bondi was among three Democrats not reelected to the Democratic Town Committee. At the time, Bondi said party leaders didn’t want to give him the nomination in the 2007 municipal race and then “decided otherwise, because I threatened to primary.” In that race, Bondi ran for one of five at-large council seats, rather than seek reelection to his District C seat. He was the top vote-getter among all candidates.
“Fred got a lot of votes (in 2007), but he got a lot of Democratic votes that may not vote for him as a Republican,” said Galen Wells, former Democratic Town Committee chairwoman. “If it is Fred (who is switching to the Republican Party), I don’t think it’s going to make much difference.”
“He, generally speaking, has been functioning as a Republican,” Wells said.