Mattson, Maneval head to Cheshire 9 special election after primary wins

  • Andy Hungerford checks in a voter during the special Cheshire District 9 primary election in Dublin Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Andy Hungerford checks in a voter during the special Cheshire District 9 primary election in Dublin Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Ballot boxes for the Cheshire District 9 special primary election in Dublin on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Matthew Santonastaso of Jaffrey, Steve Malone of Swanzey, Mark Buckley of Jaffrey, candidate Rita Mattson and Sharon Bolduc of Stratham campaign for Mattson outside of the Jaffrey Fire Station during Tuesday’s primary election. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/8/2021 1:40:01 PM

Republican Rita Mattson carried the day on the primary ticket to fill the House of Representatives seat for Cheshire District 9. Mattson will face off against Democrat nominee Andrew Maneval in October’s general election.

The seat was left open following the June death of long-time Rep. Doug Ley, a Jaffrey Democrat, who held the seat since the district’s formation. Ley served alongside fellow Democrat Dick Ames since 2012. Cheshire District 9 represents Jaffrey, Dublin, Roxbury and Harrisville.

On the Democratic ticket, Andrew Maneval, of Harrisville, is seeking to step into Ley’s shoes.

“I’m looking forward to getting out and getting my message out for the General Election,” Maneval said, following Tuesday’s primary, where he ran unopposed. “I’m newer to the process than Dick Ames or Doug Ley, but I believe what we need, more than just a blue politician, is someone who is willing to take on issues seriously, who believes in science, reality and actually believes in government. I’m hopeful we’ll get people in Concord who think government can serve a useful purpose.”

Bill Weibel of Jaffrey, who campaigned for Maneval at the Jaffrey Fire Station on Tuesday, said he supported Maneval’s stance on the protection of public education, among other issues, and cited Maneval’s background in mediation.

“We need someone who has that skill, to work across the aisle,” Weibel said. “I think he’s an excellent candidate.”

On the Republican ticket, Rita Mattson of Dublin, who has sought the Cheshire 9 seat in the past, won out over fellow Republican candidate Louise Decker to represent the party in the general election Oct. 26.

 Multiple people were campaigning with Mattson outside of the Jaffrey Fire Department on Tuesday, supporting her bid.

Matthew Santonastaso of Jaffrey said he was supporting Mattson’s run, and said he liked her consistent conservative values.

“She is our best chance to win in the general election,” Santonastaso said.

In an interview Wednesday, Mattson acknowledged the difficulties of trying to overturn a long-time Democratic seat, but said she was thrilled with the support she saw at the primary polls.

“It is by no means the end of the line. I know I have a tough battle ahead,” Mattson said. “I’m up for the challenge, and I’m looking forward to the fight and the win.”

Turnout Tuesday at the polls for the special election was low in both Jaffrey and Dublin. Voters in both towns strongly supported Mattson over Decker.

In Dublin, Mattson won Republican voters in an 86-10 split, and 116-31 in Jaffrey. The uncontested Maneval took 110 votes in Jaffrey and 89 votes in Dublin.

Turnout for Republicans was lower in Harrisville and Roxbury. Mattson took 25 votes in Harrisville, to Decker’s six and five votes to Decker’s zero in Roxbury. Maneval took 121 votes in Harrisville and seven votes in Roxbury.

The general election for the Cheshire District 9 seat is scheduled for Oct. 26.


Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.


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