As published in the Record Journal, Saturday November 19, 2011
WALLINGFORD — Just a week after municipal elections, Town Council Democrat Nicholas Economopoulos, a retired schoolteacher, has announced his intention to run against longtime Republican Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. — and he’ll need the two years to build a strong campaign, said Democratic Town Committee Chairman Vincent Avallone Jr.
“It’s nice to see someone realize that in order to run a good campaign, you have to start early,” he said. “Whoever is going to challenge (William) Dickinson has to raise a significant amount of money to get the message out, and get an organization going very early.”
Town Councilor Vincent Testa Jr., also a Democrat, lost his second run at the office last week against Dickinson, the second-longest serving mayor in the state, but the defeat doesn’t have him ruling out another try for the office, he said. Testa said he was surprised to hear of Economopoulos’ intentions.
“No one has asked me what my intentions are; I knew it could require consecutive efforts to be successful,” Testa said. “It will be long time before the party decides, but I haven’t taken myself out of it.”
Republican Town Chairman Robert Prentice was not available for comment.
In his 16 years on the Democratic committee, with the past two as chairman, Avallone said it’s the earliest he’s ever seen anyone announce a run for any office, and it might be what is needed to defeat Dickinson, a 64-year-old lawyer.
“Testa started later; I would think that Eco learned from that,” he said.
Robert Parisi, council chairman, said he was surprised by the early announcement and expected it might mean more verbal sparring between Economopoulos and Dickinson during council meetings.
“He’s always been pretty outspoken anyway, but I imagine it could increase,” he said. “But I didn’t expect anyone to be running for mayor right after an election. If he wants to run for mayor, he can run for mayor. He must have his own timetable.”