Ridgefield Democrats maintain majority on contested boards

Photo of Alyssa Seidman
District III voters cast their ballots at Yanity Gym in Ridgefield. Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021.

District III voters cast their ballots at Yanity Gym in Ridgefield. Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021.

Alyssa Seidman / Hearst Connecticut Media

Editor’s note: The vote counts below reflect a re-tabulation of the original results, which were published in an earlier version of this story.

RIDGEFIELD — Nearly all of Ridgefield’s Democratic candidates were endorsed by voters Tuesday night after 6,317 ballots were tabulated at Town Hall.

Of the 16 candidates nominated by the Democratic Town Committee in the election, 15 won seats on a wide array of boards and commissions. Democratic Police Commissioner Ralph Money was the sole incumbent who was not re-elected despite garnering almost 3,000 votes.

“We went into this election with three of the five members of the Board of Police Commissioners being democrats,” DTC Chairman Joe Shapiro said. “We did hope to extend the majority 4-1.”

Shapiro acknowledged the “strong campaign” mounted by Republican Police Commissioner John Frey, who served as Ridgefield’s state representative for 22 years before leaving office at the end of 2020. He was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board earlier this year.

Frey was the top vote-getter among the police commissioner candidates, earning 3,568 votes. Democratic challenger Sharon Dornfeld, who garnered 3,108 votes, joins Frey and BOPC Chairwoman Marcie Coffin, who was also re-elected to her seat Tuesday night.

“We’re definitely very proud of the group of individuals who stepped up and put themselves forward,” Republican Town Committee Chairman Mike Raduazzo said of his slate. “We’re looking forward to the state and federal elections next year, and we will continue to be represented within the community.”

Incumbents Mike Rettger and Andrew Okrongly will continue to serve Ridgefield on the Board of Finance. Incumbent Tina Malhotra won her bid for re-election on the Board of Education alongside fellow Democrats Selina Bell, Amy Casey and Tom Colin.

Board of Assessment Appeals Chairman Jeff Lundberg was also re-elected, and will be joined by Republican David Pope. Incumbent Zoning Board of Appeals member Joseph Pastore was elected to a five-year term.

“The most important thing to the success of the democrats in this campaign is that we had 16 excellent candidates who know Ridgefield well, and really have credentials for the particular boards for which they (were) running,” Shapiro added, “and I think the voters recognized that.”

The town’s registrar of voters submitted an amendment to the secretary of state’s office Wednesday based on feedback from the moderator at Scotts Ridge Middle School, the polling location for District II.

And while most of Ridgefield’s republican candidates came up short Tuesday night, Raduazzo was encouraged by the party’s wins in neighboring towns like Danbury, Brookfield and Westport. He also noted that the GOP’s gains in Virginia and New Jersey’s gubernatorial races signals a positive outlook for republicans in next year’s midterm elections.