South

MANSFIELD

Rhein wins selectman’s seat

After a decade of picking up trash to help keep his hometown clean, Neil Rhein has won a seat on the Mansfield Board of Selectmen.

Ten years ago, Rhein started the civic organization Keep Mansfield Beautiful, which organized hundreds of volunteers in an annual townwide cleanup day.

He won in a special election on Nov. 14, beating out four other candidates to succeed the late George Dentino, a longtime selectman who died last summer. The term lasts until the May town elections.

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Rhein won 47 percent of the vote. His closest opponent, David Martin, a member of the town’s Industrial Development Commission, had 37 percent; former selectmen Olivier Kozlowski received about 12 percent and Allen Bryer about 2 percent. The fifth candidate pulled out of the race after the ballots were printed.

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“I’m excited to get to work, and to move Mansfield forward,” said Rhein, a marketing communications specialist who founded Keep Massachusetts Beautiful, which has four fully certified towns and another four participating.

Rhein said he is ready to dig into budget deliberations and is looking forward to working on plans for the downtown area.

Less than 9 percent of the town’s 16,520 registered voters cast votes in the election, according to the town clerk’s office.

Elaine Cushman Carroll can be reached at elaine_carroll@msn.com.