Cllr Gianni Carofano won a two-way poll among local party members, beating fellow councillor Tom Wootton.
The vote was held at Renhold Village Hall.
Unlike most parts of the country Bedford Borough has a directly-elected mayor.
Most other mayors are purely ceremonial, but in Bedford the mayor is an executive role and is the most senior politician in Borough Hall.
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Cllr Stephen Moon, who is leaderof the Conservatives at Borough Hall, sajd his colleague’s “infectious enthusiasm” had swung the vote in his favour.
He said: “Gianni isn’t a typical Conservative - he’s younger than most of us for a start, but he’s also open to new ideas and isn’t tainted by being in one party for too long.”