Ridgefield primary: Five school board candidates selected

The Yanity Gym, the district three polling place in Ridgefield, Conn., had a steady stream of voters Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014.

The Yanity Gym, the district three polling place in Ridgefield, Conn., had a steady stream of voters Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014.

Carol Kaliff / Carol Kaliff

Ridgefield Republicans are going forward with five candidates for this fall’s Board of Education race.

Republican nominees Robert Ceccarini, Liz Floegel, Bryan Ward, Rachel Ruggeri and Sean McEvoy won Tuesday’s primary which saw a low turnout of around 450 voters.

None of the five candidates who advanced currently sit on the board. Ruggeri was the top choice with 341 votes, edging out Floegel’s 330 tallies.

McEvoy received 325 votes, leading Ward at 323 and Ceccarini at 311.

“All the candidates that I’m running with bring extraordinary talent to the table and our community and children will benefit!” said Ruggeri the morning after her primary win.

“This is a ‘team effort,’ ... Sustaining and growing a phenomenal school district takes experience, passion and working together,” she added. “... As a team we always will put ‘Children First, Politics Never.’ It’s all about the kids. I am thankful and humble to the Ridgefield community, family and friends for coming out and voting in the primary.”

Darrin McGuire, who petitioned his way onto the primary ballot, received 174 votes — not enough to qualify for the ballot in November.

“I don’t have any regrets,” McGuire said Tuesday night in town hall. “My team and I wanted to bring attention back to the kids of this town and I hope that the focus continues to be on the kids of this town.”

Ruggeri wished McGuire well Wednesday morning and said she looked forward “to sharing strategy, thoughts and listening to community members.”


In total, 449 registered Republican voted across three polling stations at the primary — not counting 25 absentee ballots the registrar’s office counted.

Ridgefield has 5,848 registered Republicans.

“It was slow,” said Republican Registrar of Voters Wayne Floegel. “Primaries usually draw a crowd but it’s hard to have too high of expectations for a municipal election. It’s September, schools are in session — it can be any number of reasons [for a low turnout].”

Open seats

The five school board seats that are up in November belong to Fran Walton, Jonathan Steckler, James Keidel, Tracey O’Connor, and Sharon D’Orso.

Keidel, O’Connor, and D’Orso are Republicans who are not seeking re-election.

Only Steckler, a Democrat, is running for re-election this fall. Democrats have also nominated Ken Sjoberg to run for a school board seat.

According to the Republican registrar of voters, unaffiliated voters had until Monday to become registered Republicans for this election.

“There were not as many as I anticipated but there was a noticeable jump of people coming off the fence,” Wayne Floegel said. “You got to be a party member to vote in the primary.”