Rita Mattson easily won the Republican primary in the Cheshire County House District 9 special election Tuesday.
Mattson, of Dublin, defeated Lucille Decker, of Jaffrey, 232 to 47. The N.H. House’s Cheshire District 9 represents four towns: Dublin, Harrisville, Jaffrey and Roxbury.
“I am ready to fight for District 9 and Cheshire County and get us back on the map,” Mattson said Tuesday night. “I’m just really excited and glad I can go on to the next step.”
Tuesday’s special primary election followed the death of long-time state representative Doug Ley, D-Jaffrey, earlier this summer after a battle with cancer. The candidate voters choose to fill his seat will be elected for the rest of his term, which expires in 2023.
Only one Democrat filed for the special election, Harrisville’s Andrew Maneval. In addition, Donald Primrose, of Dublin, filed a declaration of intent to run, but did not file his nominating papers by Tuesday’s deadline, according to the N.H. Secretary of State’s Office.
Mattson, 65, was one of two Republicans to run for the two Cheshire District 9 seats last year, but both were defeated by the Democratic incumbents, Ley and Richard Ames, also of Jaffrey. She’s a self-described retired blue-collar worker who said she worked for most of her career as a maintenance mechanic at production plants.
Maneval, an arbitrator and mediator, ran unsuccessfully for the Cheshire County House District 14 seat in 2020, losing to Rindge Republican Matthew Santonastaso.
At an event hosted by the Cheshire County Republican Committee late last month in Keene, Mattson said that if elected, two of her priorities would be working on enhancing school-choice opportunities and maintaining “the New Hampshire advantage” of no state sales or income taxes.
Mattson handily won all four of the towns in Cheshire District 9 on Tuesday.
In Dublin, she received 86 votes compared to Decker’s 10.
In Harrisville, Mattson received 25 votes to Decker’s six.
Mattson had an easy victory in Jaffrey as well, winning 116 votes to Decker’s 31.
And in Roxbury, all five people who voted in the Republican primary voted for Mattson.
As the only Democrat on the ballot, Maneval was the top vote-getter in his party’s primary in all four communities, receiving a total of 327 votes, along with one write-in vote each in the Republican primaries in Dublin and Harrisville.
The special general election — featuring the matchup between Mattson and Maneval — is Oct. 26.