WILTON. Conn. -- Republican Lynne Vanderslice swept to a win as she defeated her Democratic rival Deborah McFadden in the race for first selectman in Wilton on Tuesday night.
Vanderslice accepted the congratulations of fellow Republicans after she walked into the Trackside Teen Center shortly before 8:30 p.m. to celebrate her victory.
She succeeds Republican Bill Brennan, who didn’t run for re-election after 10 years in the town's top position.
“I am really excited about it, and I am energized,” she said in her victory speech. “I am really looking forward to getting to work.”
Vanderslice becomes the third female first selectman in the town’s history, joining Rose Marie Verrilli, who served from 1975 to 1981, and Margaret Gill, who succeeded Verrilli and served from 1981 to 1987.
While Republicans celebrated it was a more downcast group of Democrats who glumly saw the final results roll in.
McFadden said she didn't know what to expect in her run and admitted she was disappointed with the loss. However, she said enjoyed the experience and didn't regret running for the position.
"I am disappointed and I honestly had no idea what was going to happen tonight," she said. "I think overall it was good for Wilton because we gave Wilton a choice."
Vanderslice is currently vice chair of the Board of Finance and is a certified public accountant. In addition, she has been involved with the Wilton Library Association, A Better Chance of Wilton (ABC of Wilton) and the Wilton Playshop.
She has 12 years of experience in the financial world, including serving as corporate controller for Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of New York from 1979 to 1991.
McFadden is a Democratic member of the five-member Wilton Board of Selectmen. She was appointed to that position in January when Ted Hoffstatter resigned from the board. However, she will no longer be on the incoming biard due to her decision to run for First Selectman. She said there will still be a role for her in politics somewhere.
"I don't know what my next step is but I have been active in Democratic politics for 35 years so I am not done yet."
Before her appointment to the board, she served four terms as a constable for the town of Wilton. She has been the vice chair of the Wilton Democratic Town Committee since 2003.
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