Folks at the East Haven Senior Center put aside their bingo cards Monday to catch their mayor officially announce her reelection bid (as Patch reported last week).
"I'll be seeking reelection for my third term," Mayor April Capone told a cheering room of seniors.
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro swung by to throw in some kind words for Capone. Monday was not the first time DeLauro stood by the mayor's side. During Capone's 2009 reelection bid, amid accusations and some heavy-handed campaigning, DeLauro and now-U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal held a press conference downtown on Capone's behalf.
If the 2011 campaign becomes a repeat performance, the Democratic congresswoman said she'll also make a repeat performance.
"I will come and defend April -- no, support April. I don't have to defend April. She can defend herself," DeLauro said after a rousing speech. "She beat people who thought she would get beat. Personal attacks. What happened? April won."
With Capone's announcement, the 2011 mayoral stage appears to be fully cast. Republicans John Finkle and former Mayor Joe Maturo have gone public with their intentions to take on Capone in November, after they duke it out in a September primary.
Finkle campaign manager Joe Zullo singlehandedly held up the Republican fort Monday. Neither Republican candidate came to hear the mayor announce.
Reached by phone, Finkle said yes, his 2009 campaign was negative in that he criticized Capone's leadership but was not responsible for any mud-slinging.
"We spent a lot of time trying to paint the (economic) picture for the future. I think now the big change for us is getting the message out on how we're going to solve the problem," said Finkle.
Asked how he felt about his primary challenge from Maturo, the former Board of Education chair said he's disappointed "because it distracts from what the real focus is, which is a unified team taking on the current administration. We're very confident (about beating Maturo in September). I'm confident we'll do very well (in November) to take on April."
Messages left for Maturo were not returned.