Democratic Sweep!

In Stories by Alex Harris

Democrats Romp at the Polls!

On Tuesday, November 7, 2017, Ridgefield Democrats swept our local elections, increasing our majority on the Board of Finance, flipping the Board of Education and the Board of Assessment Appeals to Democratic majorities, and gaining seats on the Planning & Zoning Commission (just 1 seat shy of a majority), the Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Board of Police Commissioners. This is an unprecedented victory in an historically very difficult off-year election cycle.

Our success was a team effort all the way, powered by the the labors of our outstanding candidates, our elected Democratic office holders, Democratic Town Committee members, dedicated volunteers, passionate members of the Ridgefield Chapter of the Women’s March, and all the voters who turned out when it counted. If we maintain this focus and energy, Democrats will prevail in 2018, 2019 and the all-important 2020 elections!

You were vital to this success! Thank you for your effort, commitment, vision and support!

Town Attorney Affirms Democratic Victory

On Friday, November 10, 2017, Ridgefield’s Town Attorney affirmed the law requires that Democratic Party candidates be awarded the 4-year seats they overwhelmingly won in Tuesday’s election for Board of Finance, Board of Education, and Planning & Zoning Commission, upholding the clear, decisive and unambiguous will of the voters. Additionally, a Democrat will be appointed to fill the 2-year Board of Education seat that Carina Borgia-Drake won, since Carina will resign that seat to fill the 4-year seat she also won.

While this result seems intuitively obvious, a mistaken and confused interpretation of certain arcane aspects of state law had led some to believe that Republican candidates who lost the election by hundreds of votes, could nonetheless be awarded the offices that voters clearly intended for the Democratic candidates. Happily, that mistaken and confused interpretation was recognized as entirely erroneous, and the correct results have been affirmed.

Results & Democratic Seats by Board

Click here to see the vote totals.

Board of Finance: Democrats Sean Connelly and Amy Macartney Freidenrich defeated Republicans Marty Heiser and Mike Raduazzo for the two 4-year seats elected this cycle. Sean and Amy will join sitting Democrats Dave Ulmer and Jessica Mancini in a new 4-member Democratic majority (largest allowed by law). Amy outpolled Republican Dick Moccia by over 700 votes for the single 2-year seat elected this cycle, but because Amy will accept the 4-year seat she also won, Moccia will be awarded the 2-year seat; Moccia will serve as the lone Republican board member.

Board of Education: Democrats Margaret Stamatis, Kathleen Holz, Doug Silver and Carina Borgia-Drake defeated Republicans Kaitlyn Hayes, David Cordisco and Scott Preston for the four 4-year seats elected this cycle. Additionally, Carina and Republican Sharon D’Orso won the two 2-year seats elected this cycle. Because Carina will accept the 4-year seat she also won, and because she was uncontested for the 2-year seat she won, a Democrat will be appointed to fill that 2-year seat. Margaret, Kathleen, Doug, Carina and the to-be-apppointed Democrat will join sitting Democrat Fran Walton to form a new 6-member Democratic majority (largest allowed by law) on the 9-member board. D’Orso will join sitting Republican’s Tracy O’Connor and James Keidel in the 3-member Republican minority.

Planning & Zoning Commission: Democrats Joe Fossi, Charles Robbins and Joe Dowdell, and Republicans Rebecca Mucchetti and George Hanlon won the five 4-year seats elected this cycle; defeating Republican Steve Cole and write-in candidate Robert Cousins. Charles outpolled Republican Bob Cascella by over 150 votes for the single 2-year term elected this cycle, but because Charles will accept the 4-year seat he also won, Cascella will be awarded the 2-year seat. Fossi, Robbins and Dowdell will join sitting Democrat Tim Dunphy to form a new 4-member minority on P&Z, just 1 member shy of a majority, and a net pickup of 1 seat.

Police Commission: Democrat Steve Saloom was elected; Democrat Arny DiLaura ran a great campaign, but fell short of the votes he needed. Steve will join sitting Democrat George Kain in a new 2-member minority, just 1 shy of a majority, and a net pickup of 1 seat on the Board.

Zoning Board of Appeals: Democrat Terry Bearden-Rettger defeated Republican Carson Fincham for the single 5-year seat with term beginning in November 2017. Democrat Mark Seavy won the seat to immediately fill the existing 1-year vacancy, and that seat’s new 5-year term beginning in November 2018, defeating Republican David Choplinski. Seavy also won an uncontested Alternate seat, to which a Democrat will be appointed. Additionally, Seavy also out-polled Republican John McNicholas for the other Alternate seat elected this cycle, but McNicholas will be awarded that seat since Seavy will accept the full member seat.

Board of Assessment Appeals: Democrats Anne Cutter and Jeff Lundberg outpolled Republican Robert Jewell to win the two 4-year terms up for election this cycle. Cutter and Lundberg will form the new Democratic majority on the 3-member board.

Thank you to all the voters who powered these victories for Ridgefield!