Tom Dixon was at the polls Tuesday night as Nantucket's assistant town clerk Laura Raimo read the election results and announced that he had won a seat on the Select Board.
Not only had Dixon claimed victory in his first run for office, but he was the top vote-getter by a wide margin in a four-way race. After standing outside Nantucket High School holding a sign all day in the final hours of the campaign, Dixon fell into the arms of some of his closest friends and supporters - Teena and Richard Loftin, Barbara Von Der Groeben, and Susan Cary - and relished his victory.
"My head is spinning, but I feel good," Dixon said. "I feel very humbled and proud to be elected and to be the top vote-getter. I'm looking forward to getting to work. There's a lot of priorities: affordable housing, coastal resiliency, the appointment of the committee to look at the form of our government."
Dixon, the assistant director of Nantucket’s Food Fuel and Rental Assistance program who previously served as the legislative liaison for state Rep. Dylan Fernandes, will be sworn-in to office and attend his first meeting as a member of the Select Board on Wednesday.
"My family, my aunt and uncle here, said 'be yourself and don’t try and be someone you're not for votes'," Dixon said. "I wear my heart on my sleeve , that’s who I am, and I tried to put that out there."
Joining Dixon in victory on Tuesday was the incumbent in the field of candidates, Malcolm MacNab. After winning a special election last November to finish out the term of Select Board member Melissa Murphy, who stepped down from her seat to go back to school, MacNab finished ahead of challengers Kathy Richen and Clifford Williams on Tuesday to earn a full-term on the board. MacNab wasn't at the polls Tuesday night, but heard the results from his home on North Water Street.
"I'm grateful and I appreciate the support of the island," MacNab said. "And I’m just getting started."
In the hours after his win at the polls, MacNab was already reflecting on the low turnout (just 22 percent of the island's registered voters cast ballots) and the endorsement of all seven ballot questions which approved nearly $34 million in tax overrides.
"I still think we need to open the government to more participation," MacNab said. "I’m a little upset - well I don’t want to say that word - but we had 22 percent of the vote? More people should be involved. But if you don’t vote, you can’t complain... I want to focus a little more on fiscal responsibility. We passed a lot of things tonight that are going to raise people's taxes. I want to challenge that a little more. We really need to look more at our spending, period."
In the only other contested race, Allen Reinhard defended his seat on the Nantucket Land Bank Commission, defeating challenger Kelly Steffen.
All of the ballot questions were approved, including the $6.5 million tax override for affordable housing initiatives.
2023 Nantucket Election Results
2,138 ballots cast | 22.8 percent turnout
Select Board race (two seats):
- Tom Dixon: 1,030 ✅
- Malcolm MacNab: 947 ✅
- Kathy Richen: 838
- Clifford Williams: 831
Land Bank race (one seat):
- Kelly Steffen: 719
- Allen Reinhard: 1,244 ✅
2023 Ballot Questions:
Question 1 - Supplemental funding for Surfside area roads reconstruction and transportation improvements | $13 million
- Yes: 1,174 ✅
- No: 673
Question 2 - Supplemental Funding For Landfill Closure Costs | $5 million
- Yes: 1,413 ✅
- No: 632
Question 3 - Supplemental Funding: Wauwinet Road Shared Use Path | $4.6 million
- Yes: 1,460 ✅
- No: 615
Question 4 - Appropriation for the Nobadeer Playing Fields Complex - Field Addition; Associated Renovations to Adjacent Fields; Site Enhancements | $3.8 million
- Yes: 1,044 ✅
- No: 984
Question 5 - Appropriation for General Fund Capital Expenditures | $970,000
- Yes: 1,427 ✅
- No: 634
Question 6 - Appropriation for Affordable Housing Trust Fund | $6.5 million
- Yes: 1,096 ✅
- No: 994
Question 7 - Appropriation: Fiscal Year 2024 Enterprise Funds Operations | $3.75 million
- Yes: 1,188 ✅
- No: 867
2023 Town Election | Uncontested Races:
- Sarah Alger: 1,847
School Committee (two seats)
- Tim Lepore: 1,742
- Shantaw Bloise: 1,488
Historic District Commission (two seats)
- Vallorie Oliver: 1,716
- Ray Pohl: 1,488
Harbor & Shellfish Advisory Board (two seats)
- Peter Brace: 1,664
- David Fronzuto: 1,676
Nantucket Housing Authority (one seat)
- Linda Williams: 1,378
Planning Board (one seat)
- Joseph Topham: 1,727
Water Commission (two seats)
- Curtis Barnes: 1,527
- Nelson Eldridge: 1,680