In an unexpected upset, challenger Mary Rydingsward narrowly beat Democratic Town Chairman Elliot Nelson in the race for registrar, 1,580 to 1,556.
“I’m passionate about democratic principles, and voting is one of those principles,” Rydingsward said at her victory party at the Downtown Café.
Nelson, the party-endorsed candidate, said he was surprised the race went to Rydingsward, a registered Democrat who has served as the treasurer of the Working Families party for the past two years. He said he’d expected to win by a comfortable 60-40 margin.
“It was the women vote that put her over the top,” said Nelson, who said he would ask for a recount because the vote was so close.
"The women don't love me," he moaned to a supporter.
Rydingsward said she had a lot of support and knocked on a lot of doors.
Asked whether the women’s vote made the difference, Rydingsward said, “I think the women, especially in Bristol, would like a qualified candidate in the position of registrar.”
Nelson said he ran a good campaign and was satisfied. He said he's still party chairman and planned to work hard to put a Democrat in the governor's mansion this fall.