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Election Edition 2023: Waterbury mayoral race

The Waterbury Clock Tower photographed August 12, 2022.
Mark Mirko
Connecticut Public
The Waterbury Clock Tower photographed August 12, 2022.

For the past few weeks, The Wheelhouse has been hitting the campaign trail. The show is featuring interviews with candidates for mayor across the state. Today, Waterbury!

Waterbury has long been known as the “Brass City.” In the early 20th century, it was a global leader in manufacturing — producing everything from brassware to watches and clocks.

In the early aughts, Waterbury was in the spotlight thanks to some dicey political scandals — involving former Governor John Rowland, Waterbury’s “wonderboy," and former Mayor Philip Giordano.

Things have looked up since, and with incumbent Mayor Neil O’Leary not seeking reelection, the race for mayor is wide open this November.

This hour, hear from three of the four candidates in Waterbury's mayoral race: Paul Pernerewski, the Democratic candidate, and Karen Jackson and Keisha Gilliams, both petitioning candidates.

The fourth candidate, Republican Dawn Maiorano, declined our request for an interview.

Plus, hear from a reporter following this race.


The Wheelhouse is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, TuneIn, Listen Notes, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode.

Frankie Graziano’s career in broadcast journalism continues to evolve.
Meg Dalton is the deputy director of storytelling for Connecticut Public. She previously worked for The Takeaway from WNYC, in collaboration with GBH and PRX, and Mobituaries with Mo Rocca. She's also reported and edited for the Columbia Journalism Review, PBS NewsHour, Slate, MediaShift, Hearst Connecticut newspapers, and more. Her audio work has appeared on ‎WNYC, WSHU, Marketplace, WBAI, and NPR. She earned her master's degree from Columbia Journalism School in 2017, where she specialized in audio storytelling and narrative writing, and has taught audio storytelling at Columbia Journalism School, UnionDocs, and public libraries.
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