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National, Local Elections Weigh on Ridgefield Voters' Minds

Some voters are undecided as they head to the polls, but others made up their mind long ago.

Outside the polls at East Ridge Middle School the school parking lot was nearly full of cars. Political supporters of the state and national candidates set up lots of lawn signs lining the driveway, most of them designed with some combination of red, white and blue lettering.

Dolly Patterson, who supports President Barack Obama, said the campaign was coming to a “nerve-wracking” finish.

For Patterson, the economy was the key issue in what she felt would be an important election.

“There’s a lot at stake in the national economy,” said Geoffrey Morris, publisher of Ridgefield Magazine, who declined to say which candidates he favored.

Morris did note that he knows State Rep. John Frey, the seven-term Republican incumbent from Ridgefield, and finds him a dependable choice.

Frey, who serves as the Republican Whip in the state House, is running against Democratic Party challenger Jeff L. Bonistalli Jr.

The presidential, U.S. Senate and Congressional races dominated most voters’ attention. Elaine Gell said she thought the national contests posed a choice of “different visions of the country,” concerning women’s issues and economic concerns that she felt were important.

Gell said the cleanup from last week’s hurricane had kept her from paying much attention to the state General Assembly races, which also include the election for the 26th State Senate district, a choice between two-term incumbent Republican Toni Boucher of Wilton and Democrat Carolanne Curry of Westport.

But Gell said she would vote mostly for Democrats because those candidates tended to represent her values.

Geoff Nielsen said he is happy with the Republican incumbents for state office, Frey and Boucher, and saw no reason not to vote for them.

He said he votes for people, not for parties or even issues. He makes his choice based on with whom he most closely identifies personally.

And that’s the problem he sees with the major party presidential candidates. He doesn’t identify with either of them, and feels they have both been “corrupted by the two-party system.”

He admits that has left him in an unusual position as he showed up to vote, not having made his choice yet. “I’m surprised as well,” he said.

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