Story and Photographs By John Murray
After 12 years of unsuccessfully placing his name before the Waterbury electorate, Larry De Pillo finally won an election in 2009 when he was voted onto the Board of Aldermen. And in the past two years De Pillo has been an outspoken watchdog on the board, clashing with the local political machinery, and rooting out special interests. He has been such an effective alderman that leaders in the Democrat party and Republican party have told the Observer that De Pillo, an Independent Party member, would probably win re-election if he ran again as an alderman in November.
Those same political operatives gave De Pillo zero chance of winning if he threw his hat into the mayoral race against incumbent Mike Jarjura, and former police chief, Neil O’Leary.
“Democrats and Republicans have advised me to seek re-election as an alderman,” De Pillo said. “I was told I was doing a good job, and I believe I would have been re-elected.”
But De Pillo said he’s affect on the political process as a minority aldermen was incremental, and if wanted to inact the change he believes Waterbury needs, then he would have to run for the office he believes he would have the most impact in.
“If you thought I was doing a good job as an alderman,” De Pillo told the Independent Party caucus Thursday night, “then you’ll love the job I’ll do as mayor.”
And with those words De Pillo accepted the Independent Party nomination for mayor and is steeling himself for a showdown with Jarjura and O”Leary.
De Pillo told the gathering that “rotten politicians” had bled the hope out of Waterbury, and that he has a proven track record of standing up to power and demanding change.
Cicero Booker has been an aldermen for the past ten years and described himself as a “no-nonsense” guy. He is seeking re-election as an alderman.
Joe Nolan, left, makes some brief remarks to the caucus as De Pillo and Independent Party Chairman Mike Telesca confer in the background. Nolan is running as a candidate for the Board of Aldermen.
A lively crowd packed into the community room at the Thomaston Savings Bank on Watertown Avenue for the Independent Party caucus.