New Canaan voters on Tuesday elected Republican Dionna Carlson as first selectman, while the GOP also staved off challenges to party-held seats on the Board of Education.
A former Board of Ed chair, Carlson defeated Democrat and Board of Finance member Amy Murphy Carroll 3,738 to 3,082 on a day that saw strong voter turnout, with nearly half of New Canaan’s electorate casting ballots.
Here’s a look at contested race results, as filed by the town with state election officials:
Election 2023 Results
Race Candidate (winners in bold) Votes
First Selectman Dionna Carlson (R) 3,738
Amy Murphy Carroll (D) 3,082
Board of Education (2-year term) Hugo Alves (R) 3,571
Josh Kaye (D) 3,137
Board of Education (4-year term) Matt Campbell (R) 3,690
Lauren Connolly Nussbaum (D) 3,457
Brendan Hayes (D) 3,515
Lara Kelly (R) 3,676
Giacomo Landi (U) 1,003
Matt Wexler (R) 3,518
Carlson handily bested the incumbent first selectman at the GOP Caucus in July. Carlson and Murphy Carroll both ran on campaigns that called for increased transparency, teamwork and civility at Town Hall. Murphy Carroll and Steve Karl will serve as selectmen on a new Board of Selectmen chaired by Carlson that is expected to start meeting publicly Nov. 21.
The Board of Ed race was hotly contested as Democrats put forward two candidates, hoping to pick up a seat, and an unaffiliated candidate also entered the race in Giacomo Landi. The low voter-getter among Republican BOE candidates, Matt Wexler, edged challenging Democrat Lauren Connolly Nussbaum by just 61 votes—a reflection of how much closer Board of Ed races have grown in the past two elections.
In 2017, the Democrats running for BOE earned 25.4% fewer votes than their Republican counterparts, on average, and 30% in 2019, according to Connecticut Secretary of the State records. Then in 2021, that margin dropped to 7.5%, and the unofficial results from Tuesday put the differential at 4%.
The nine-member Board of Ed remains six Republicans and three Democrats.
In uncontested races, New Canaan elected Democrats Janet Fonss and Jennifer Zonis, and Republicans Eric Thunem, Maria Naughton, Mike Mauro and Cristina A. Ross to the Town Council (the last three incumbents). Voters also re-elected Claudia Weber as town clerk and Andrew Brooks as town treasurer. John Matz, Kevin McIntosh (incumbent) and Tony Calanca were elected to the Board of Assessment Appeals, and in a contested constable race Democratic incumbents Susan Edmands, Nick Mitrakis and Ed Vollmer and prevailed, as did GOP incumbents Alberto Gonzalez, Greg Pepe and Jill Guzzetti, and Republican Bob Naughton.
Weber was the highest overall vote-getter with 4,772.
[This article has been corrected to remove an incorrect reference to the percentage difference in the first selectman race, and to show that Constable Alberto Gonzalez is a Republican. We initially listed Gonzalez as a Democrat.]