Election 2019: Ridgefield debate is Tuesday night
Does Marconi-Moccia seem an interesting match-up, with Rudy running against a former mayor of Norwalk? See them face off, live, and argue out their differing views — along with all the candidates for Board of Selectmen and Board of Education.
The League of Women Voters’ 2019 candidates forum is planned for Tuesday Oct. 1, at the Ridgefield Library, starting at 7 p.m. The event is open to the public, and free.
People will have a chance to write and submit questions.
“The public is encouraged to come to learn more about the candidates seeking office for the fall election,” League Voter Service Chairwoman Gannon Ward said in a letter to the editor last week. “There will be an opportunity for attendees to submit questions on League-provided notecards up to 10 minutes prior to the start of the forum for possible use during the event.”
The event will be organized as three separate discussions.
First Selectman Rudy Marconi, a seven-term Democratic incumbent, will share the stage with Republican first selectman nominee Dick Moccia, a Ridgefield Board of Finance member who served in a wide variety of positions, including mayor, in his former home town, Norwalk.
A Board of Selectmen’s candidate forum will feature three incumbents and two challengers. The incumbent selectmen are Democrat Barbara Manners and Republicans Maureen Kozlaark and Bob Hebert. Joining them in the race are Sean Connelly, a Democrat serving on the Board of Finance, and Republican Joe Savino, a Police Commission member who has served previously on the boards of selectmen and finance as well as the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Incumbent Selectman Steve Zemo, a Democrat, is not seeking re-election.
The Board of Education debate is expected to feature the race’s seven candidates — only of them an incumbent.
The two Democrats in the school board race are Kenneth Sjoberg and incumbent Jonathan Steckler. The five Republicans seeking school seats are Bryan P. Ward, Sean McEvoy, Robert Ceccarini, Elizabeth Floegel and Rachel Ruggeri.
In the school board race, five of the seven candidates will be elected.
“Non-partisan debates are a key way to engage with the political process - they give the candidates a place to express their vision for the future and direction of our community and give voters a chance to learn about the stances of each candidate on a variety of issues,” Ridgefield League President Marilyn Carroll said when asked why the League felt debates are important.
“Watching a live debate gives voters the opportunity to judge the sincerity of a candidate allowing voters to ‘cut through the noise’ and get the facts directly from the candidates,” she said. “Debates can help a voter determine if a candidate is able to give specifics about their stands on the issues, or if they speak in generalities, evading direct answers. Do they support their positions and arguments with facts and figures? Are their proposals realistic? Can they actually carry out the promises they are making?
“Attending a debate is one of the best ways to prepare for election day,” Carroll said, “and a great way for voters to empower themselves and do their civic duty.”