Mattson becomes first Democrat to lead Lyme

Lyme — In the first contested race for first selectman in 16 years, voters chose Steven Mattson to lead this residential and rural community of about 2,500 people for the next two years.

Mattson, 62, said by phone Tuesday night after the unofficial results were announced that his priorities are to "bring some more professionalism" to the town's finances and to better communicate with residents. He believes that he is the first Democrat to ever lead the town. "We cannot find another one," he said.

Wayland did not get enough votes to earn him a spot on the Board of Selectmen. Joining Mattson on the board will be Democrat John Kiker and Republican Parker Lord.

The contested race for the top spot spurred a larger than usual voter turnout. Nearly 51 percent of registered voters cast a ballot — unheard of in a local election with no president or governor on the ballot. There were also 62 absentee ballots. There are 631 registered Democrats in Lyme compared to 522 registered Republicans.

Mattson has been first selectman since July when he stepped in to serve the remainder of First Selectman Ralph F. Eno Jr.'s term. Eno retired after more than two decades as first selectman, and endorsed Mattson to take over his post.

j.bergman@theday.com

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