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Gail Matson unseats Dick Patten in Concord’s Ward 8

  • Ballot clerks, Fred Langevin, left, and James Lawrence, right, check in voters at the Ward 8 polling location at the Bektash Temple on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

    Ballot clerks, Fred Langevin, left, and James Lawrence, right, check in voters at the Ward 8 polling location at the Bektash Temple on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

  • Ballot clerks, Fred Langevin, left, and James Lawrence, right, check in voters at the Ward 8 polling location at the Bektash Temple on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

    Ballot clerks, Fred Langevin, left, and James Lawrence, right, check in voters at the Ward 8 polling location at the Bektash Temple on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

  • Ballot clerks, Fred Langevin, left, and James Lawrence, right, check in voters at the Ward 8 polling location at the Bektash Temple on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)
  • Ballot clerks, Fred Langevin, left, and James Lawrence, right, check in voters at the Ward 8 polling location at the Bektash Temple on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

Three-term incumbent Dick Patten lost his position as Concord’s Ward 8 city councilor yesterday, finishing in a distant third place as Gail Matson won his seat.

Matson, a newcomer to city politics, finished with a 10-vote margin over Dennis Soucy. She had 151 votes, while Soucy earned 141 and Patten finished with 73 votes.

“I’m happy that the voters want to put their trust in me, and I will work hard to try to make sure that I do represent the ward well,” Matson said last night.

Patten, who initially said he would not seek re-election this fall, filed to run after supporters gathered petition signatures on his behalf. The 61-year-old has been the Ward 8 city councilor since 2007, and he also serves as a Democratic state representative.

He did not appear at the polls yesterday and said he was home sick with shingles.

“The doctor . . . ordered me to stay in and not be in public anywhere, so that’s why I’m not out shaking hands or anything else,” Patten said by phone yesterday afternoon.

Soucy, 62, lives on Russell Street and identifies himself as a friend of Patten. He filed to run for city council when he thought Patten would not seek re-election, but Patten encouraged him to stay in the race after he entered. Soucy did not return messages left last night.

Patten also did not return a message last night but said earlier in the day that he did not feel optimistic about his chances.

“People who I thought were my friends backstabbed me and stuff, so I don’t really want to talk to anybody,” he said.

Patten faced challenges in his third term on the city council. He was censured by the rest of the council last year for misusing his elected office by calling the police after a friend was issued a traffic ticket. He identified himself as a city councilor and asked an officer why his friend had received a ticket rather than a warning. Earlier this year, Patten faced a stalking petition from a 20-year-old Concord man that was temporarily granted but later lifted at a court hearing.

Still, yesterday’s results were somewhat surprising to Matson, a 51-year-old Garvins Falls Road resident and employee of the state’s insurance department.

“I think I did a fair amount of work and I hoped for the best, but I guess I was realistic thinking that not that many people knew me,” she said. “My thought process was that name recognition might have carried the day, but I’m pleased.”

Patten said he was hurt that he did not earn endorsements and was upset that the Concord firefighters union endorsed Matson. He said yesterday afternoon that he has been an effective councilor for Ward 8 and is a lifelong resident of the Heights.

“All they see is what’s on TV at city council (meetings) and I don’t speak up, but no, they don’t see the day-to-day stuff that I do within the ward here.”

Soucy and Matson both spent the day outside the polls at the Bektash Temple on Pembroke Road yesterday. Patten said a supporter did spend some time holding one sign on his behalf.

But, Patten added, he is not done serving as an elected official. He is still a state representative, and he plans to run for re-election next year.

“Next year I’ll be out there with all my signs and everything else when I get ready to campaign for state Legislature again,” he said.

(Laura McCrystal can be reached at 369-3312 or lmccrystal@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @lmccrystal.)

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As Bouley wins fourth term as Concord mayor, four newcomers join city council

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Concord Mayor Jim Bouley won a fourth term yesterday in a landslide over two challengers. Four newcomers will join the city council in January. Gail Matson unseated incumbent Dick Patten in Ward 8. Byron Champlin won by a large margin in Ward 4, where current At-Large Councilor Michael DelloIacono finished in third place. Allan Herschlag was elected to an open … 3

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