Norwalk mayoral candidate changes parties ahead of elections

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NORWALK -

A candidate for the mayor of Norwalk changed his party from Democrat to Republican ahead of the upcoming elections.

Darnell Crosland, who was a lifelong Democrat and activist, registered as a Republican at Norwalk City Hall Tuesday.

"I'm switching over because there's an opportunity to lead Norwalk," Crosland says.

Crosland says he's looking to unseat three-term incumbent Mayor Harry Rilling, a Democrat. He says he believes Rilling is a Republican at heart.

Crosland says people have been questioning him about the change.

"We're the party that really helped bring civil rights along the way," he says about the Republican party.

Rilling tells News 12, "We're going to run on our record. I'm proud of what we accomplished and there's a similar feeling among our residents."

Crosland says he's not switching parties to defend President Donald Trump, but to defend Norwalk.

Crosland currently works as a criminal defense attorney. He ran for probate judge last year and lost.

Norwalk has over 20,000 registered Democrats and 10,000 registered Republicans. More than 22,000 are unaffiliated.

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