CECILTON — Incumbent Town Councilman Michael Cooper extended his length of service to a ninth elected term, while newcomer Charles Ringgold defeated a sitting incumbent for the second seat up for grabs in Monday’s town election.
Cooper received 36 votes to nab first place while Ringgold, a town youth volunteer and coach, received 23 votes, edging out one-term Councilwoman Jennie Brockell, who got 19 votes. Coming in fourth was Rose Marie “Ree” Cinelli, a town educator and volunteer, who received 11 votes.
Mayor Joe Zang was also re-elected in an uncontested mayoral race, receiving 31 votes to earn a fifth two-year term in office.
The first contested town election in more than a decade saw 48 of the town’s 349 registered voters come to town hall to cast a ballot, representing a 14% turnout.
The last contested election in Cecilton was in 2008, when three candidates ran for two open council seats. Since that election, every seat has either been uncontested or unfilled, forcing an appointment to fill an elected seat.
First elected to the town council in 2006, Zang ran unopposed for mayor in 2011 after former mayor John Bunnell did not seek re-election. Since becoming mayor, Zang has never been opposed.
“I’m honored to serve again, and I’m happy to see the increased interest in the council race,” he told the Whig last week.
Cooper, who has served on council since 2003, said Tuesday that he was honored to win another term.
“People trust me, I guess. Most people know me as I’ve done lot in town through the fire company and other events,” he said.
Despite having served for more than a decade already, Cooper said he’s still excited to win another two-year term, especially as the town prepares for new projects like the Senior Village housing complex.
“I just want to do what I can to help, and hopefully when I’m done there are people prepared coming behind me,” he said.
Ringgold, who won the first race he ever entered for elected office, called the win “a blessing.”
“A lot of the stuff I do is for the kids of the community, so I’m excited to be able to have a part in future programs for them,” he said Tuesday.
A former Elkton High School and semi-pro football player, Ringgold is known by many in the community through his involvement with the Cecil County Junior Football League and Little League Baseball. He moved to town with his wife, Krystal, a few years ago, and has begun organizing community events, including a free youth football clinic in town this past winter.
Cooper said that he’s been impressed by Ringgold’s efforts in town so far and is looking forward to serving with him.
“I think he’s going to be a great asset for the council,” Cooper said.
Cooper and Ringgold join six-term Councilman Craig DeVary and two-term Councilwoman Danielle Zack, who won re-election in uncontested races last year.