Tuesday was an historic election and Ridgefield Democrats have much for which we are thankful. Our greatest thanks are to each voter, no matter party or votes cast, for voting. Turnout was high for a mid-term with unofficial tallies of over 12,000 ballots cast, including nearly 1,300 absentee ballots and almost 90 Election Day registrations. That level of participation is a “win” for all Ridgefield — the foundations of our local democracy are strong, and our citizens are actively engaged in their own governance.
High turnout creates a welcome, but heavy, burden on local officials charged with safeguarding our votes. Democrats extend sincere thanks to Town Clerk Wendy Lionetti and her amazing staff, to recently retired Town Clerk Barbara Serfilippi, who returned for the day to offer the guidance of her expertise, to outgoing Republican Registrar of Voters Hope Wise (in her final election in that role), to our remarkable Democratic Registrar of Voters Cynthia Bruno, to all the polling officials and volunteers who labored through the day, and everyone involved in the counting. Ridgefield is privileged to be served by such conscientious individuals.
Democrats extend humble and grateful thanks to all who delivered a near Democratic sweep in Ridgefield for the second consecutive year. U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, Gov.-elect Ned Lamont, Lt. Gov.-elect Susan Bysiewicz, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, Attorney General-elect William Tong, Treasurer-elect Shawn Wooden, and Comptroller Kevin Lembo all won in Ridgefield, en route to their statewide victories. Closer to home, 4th District Congressman Jim Himes won Ridgefield as part of his successful re-election. In a major upset, challenger Will Haskell won in Ridgefield in his resounding victory in the 26th State Senate District, inspiring generations both young and old with his fresh and impressive grasp and approach. In the 138th State Assembly District, Ken Gucker was narrowly eclipsed in the sliver of Ridgefield north of George Washington highway, but won the district with strong performances in Danbury and New Fairfield.
Democrats are exceedingly thankful for the broad, deep and passionate support shown for our stirring 111th State Assembly District candidate Aimee Berger-Girvalo. In an excruciatingly close race, the closest in 20 years, Aimee fell short by just 3.76% (about 450 votes) against a 10-term incumbent who in past cycles won 65% of votes cast. Ridgefield Democrats thank Aimee and all her supporters for an inspirational campaign, and excitedly anticipate her next one.
Democrats thank all the candidates, campaign staffs, volunteers and interns who tirelessly canvassed, phone banked and worked in so many other capacities on campaigns for every candidate (in every party) on the ballot. We thank outgoing Sen. Toni Boucher and outgoing 138th Rep. Michael Ferguson for their service and wish them well in their post-public office lives. Finally, we congratulate 111th State Rep. John Frey on his victory and extend our hopes that his new term will benefit our town.
Alex Harris is chair of the Ridgefield Democratic Town Committee, which provides this column.