East Lyme voters pick Nickerson

East Lyme First Selectman Mark Nickerson, center, shows off his American flag socks to passing voters outside the East Lyme Community Center on Election Day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015. (Tali Greener/Special to The Day)
East Lyme First Selectman Mark Nickerson, center, shows off his American flag socks to passing voters outside the East Lyme Community Center on Election Day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015. (Tali Greener/Special to The Day)

East Lyme — First Selectman Mark Nickerson, a Republican who has been serving as the town's top official since January, won his first full term in Tuesday's election.

In a day of steady turnout, Nickerson secured 3,064 votes for the first selectman position, while Democratic challenger Steve Carpenteri, a Board of Finance member took 1,632 votes.

"This is a big win for our team, but I think it's also a big win for East Lyme," Nickerson said Tuesday. "The people voted with confidence that the town is heading in the right direction and want to continue that way."

Nickerson, who served as Deputy First Selectman under former First Selectman Paul Formica had stepped in to carry out the remainder of his term in January when Formica left for the General Assembly.

Nickerson, who had also been chairman of the Zoning Commission, said during his campaign that his priorities for the town include preserving the Oswegatchie Hills, protecting property values, and bringing sewers to Saunders Point.

Carpenteri conceded Tuesday evening and said the race was a positive experience.

"It was a learning experience to do this campaign," he said. "It was quite an adventure. I got to work with a lot of great people and met a lot of dear friends - so for that it was worth it. Congratulations to Mark Nickerson and his team."

During his campaign, Carpenteri, who has sat on the Planning and Zoning Commission, prioritized the completion of Gateway Commons and the elementary school project, but also said the town should keep a close eye on future growth.

Incumbent Republicans Holly Cheeseman, Marc Salerno and Kevin Seery and incumbent Democrat Rose Ann Hardy retained their seats on the Board of Selectmen, while newcomer Daniel Cunningham, a Democrat, will join them.

Republicans Jaime Barr Shelburn and Timothy Hagen and Democrats Barbara Senges and Jill Carini kept their seats on the Board of Education. Eric Bauman, a Republican, won his first term on the school board.

Voter turnout was about 44 percent, according to registrar of voters Carol Marelli.

k.drelich@theday.com

Twitter: @KimberlyDrelich 

East Lyme First Selectman Mark Nickerson, center, 'blows it up' after a handshake with Cooper McIlhenney, 8, outside East Lyme High School on Election Day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015.  McIlhenney's dad, David, left, is running for the same seat Nickerson first ran for 16 years ago when he entered politics, zoning commission alternate. (Tali Greener/Special to The Day)
(Tali Greener/Special to The Day)
East Lyme First Selectman Mark Nickerson, center, "blows it up" after a handshake with Cooper McIlhenney, 8, outside East Lyme High School on Election Day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015. McIlhenney's dad, David, left, is running for the same seat Nickerson first ran for 16 years ago when he entered politics, zoning commission alternate. (Tali Greener/Special to The Day) (Tali Greener/Special to The Day)

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