Mock election: Ridgefield High seniors pick Marconi over Moccia

Budget priorities, the superintendent search, road repairs, school and town infrastructure needs, and inclusivity were just some of the topics Ridgefield High School’s senior class students presented at the RHS’s 58th annual candidates assembly on Oct. 22.

Both candidates seeking election for the first selectman and five of the seven candidates seeking election for the Board of Education were present for the long-standing tradition of a debate leading up to Election Day.

Candidates were asked questions developed by students enrolled in American Government and Politics and AP U.S. Government and Politics classes. The debate was moderated and timed by fellow classmates. First Selectman candidates Rudy Marconi and Dick Moccia were joined by Board of Education candidates Elizabeth Floegel, Sean McEvoy, Rachel Ruggeri, Ken Sjoberg and Jonathan Steckler.

The moderators of the debate were students Lane Murdoch, Leo Rector, Makena Klinkowize and Jemma Silvestri. Student questioners included Matthew Brooks, Ava Cowles, Will Fleming and Olivia Seal. Timers for the assembly were Katherine Landler, Julia Fandetti and Emily Christel. Rezia Duke assisted as candidate greeter.

Seniors who are 18 years old, or will be turning 18 prior to Nov. 5, were given the opportunity to register to vote with both the Ridgefield registrars of voters and the League of Women Voters.

The League has a long history of working with the high school on the candidates’ debates and the mock election, this year held on Oct. 23.

With the emphasis of the Government and Politics program on civic participation, all seniors were encouraged to vote in the mock election, the results of which are always highly anticipated. Students voted for the candidates for first selectman and Board of Education.

With 271 ballots cast, a turnout rate of 69 percent, the results of the election were as follows:

 First selectman: Rudy Marconi, 178; Dick Moccia, 92.

 Board of Education: Elizabeth Floegel, 238; Kenneth Sjoberg, 178; Jonathan Steckler, 178; Sean McEvoy, 164; Rachel Ruggeri, 123; Bryan Ward, 80; Robert Ceccarini, 78.

The students voted using real ballots and a town vote scanner/tabulator. The mock election was funded by grants from the Ridgefield High School Parent Teacher Student Association and the Ridgefield Rotary Club.

Gannon Ward is the voter service chairperson for the Ridgefield League of Women Voters.