Election 2017: Democrats, Republicans nominate slates

Slates of 18 Republicans and 18 Democrats — endorsed by party caucuses that set up contests for Board of Finance, Board of Education, Planning and Zoning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, Police Commission, and Board of Assessment Appeals — will face off in the November election.

Democrats caucused Monday night, July 24, in town hall.

“The Democratic slate balances proven incumbents and new blood, professional expertise, local business acumen and deep community roots, to ensure Ridgefield’s local government operates efficiently, effectively, and in the best interests of all Ridgefield residents,” said Alex Harris of the Democratic Town Committee.

Republicans had caucused a few days earlier Thursday night, July 20, in town hall.

“I don’t know if this is a carryover from the prior Presidential election, but our candidates appear to be very enthusiastic and revved up, plus I saw many new motivated faces in the crowd,” said Republican Town Committee Chairman Alex Karsanidi Sr. “I would say everyone seems to be ready to work for the same goals, more so than I’ve seen for many years. Should be a very productive year.”

Finance board

With three seats up for election on the five-member Board of Finance, Republicans nominated three candidates, hoping to reclaim the majority on a board that now has three Democrats and two Republicans. Democrats nominated two candidates, with a possibility of expanding their majority to four seats, the maximum allowed under minority representation laws.

For finance board, Republicans endorsed former Norwalk Mayor Richard “Dick” Moccia, a current member of the Parking Authority, along with GOP incumbents Marty Heiser and Michael Raduazzo.

Democrats endorsed for finance board are: Amy Macartney Freidenrich, owner of Ross Bread and Coffee and member of League of Women Voters; and Sean Connelly, an incumbent since his appointment to fill a finance board vacancy in 2016.

Education board

Six seats are up for election on the nine-member Board of Education. Republicans, who currently hold five school seats, have nominated incumbents David Cordisco and Sharon D’Orso, along with Kaitlyn Hayes and Scott Preston.

Democrats, who have four school seats now, are nominating five candidates: incumbents Doug Silver and Margaret Stamatis, as well as Kathleen Holtz, Carina Borgia-Drake and Amanda Cordano.

Planning and zoning

Six seats are up for election on the nine-member Planning and Zoning Commission. Republicans have nominated four candidates for P&Z, all incumbents: Rebecca Mucchetti, George Hanlon, Stephen Cole and Robert Cascella.

Democrats are nominating two Planning and Zoning incumbents, Joe Fossi and Charles Robbins, along with Joe Dowdell, Temi Bova and Mary Dougherty.

For the five-member Zoning Board of Appeals, two seats as well as two alternate positions are up for election but it appears all the alternate seats won’t be fill out. Republicans have nominated two incumbents for appeals board seats, David Choplinski and Carson Fincham, and are running John McNicholas to be a board alternate.

Democrats have nominated ZBA alternate Mark Seavy for a regular board seat, along with Terry Bearden-Rettger.

Police and appeals

The five-member Police Commission currently has four Republicans and one Democrat. Three seats — all held by Republicans — are up for election.

Republicans have nominated three incumbent Police Commissioners whose terms are up: Marianne Coffin, Thomas Reynolds and Joseph Savino.

Democrats have put up two challengers, Steve Saloom and Arnold DiLauria.

The Board of Assessment Appeals has three members, currently two Republicans and a Democrat. Two seats, one held by each party, are up for election.

Republicans have nominated the GOP incumbent whose term is up, Bob Jewell.

Democrats are nominating incumbent Jeffrey Lundberg, and Anne Cutter, who served on the assessment appeals board in her former town of New Milford. Party members who wish to get on the ballot have until 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 9, to file petitions for primary challenges to nominated candidates, or to petition for open seats on the party slates where no candidates were nominated.