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October 24, 2013

Mayoral candidates debate for final time

BEVERLY — Mike Cahill and Wes Slate debated for the third and final time last night before the Nov. 5 election, making one last pitch to voters about who is the best man to lead the city in a time of major transition.

Cahill promised that he will be an inclusive leader who will get many people involved in shaping the direction of the city, while Slate touted his knowledge of city government and his determination to work hard at the job.

The two candidates are vying to replace Bill Scanlon, who is not seeking re-election after 18 years in office.

Last night’s forum was run by 30 & Main, a committee of Beverly Main Streets whose members are ages 18 to 40. About 200 people attended the event in the high school auditorium.

Slate and Cahill answered seven questions from a panel and did not have any contentious exchanges.

Slate, the Ward 2 city councilor, said his six years on the council should be more significant to voters than Cahill’s “two-year bounce-through with us,” referring to Cahill’s one term as City Council president.

“I understand this job and can do it on day one,” Slate said of the mayor’s position. “I know how this city works, what its strengths and challenges are.”

Cahill, the city’s former state representative, said he wants to be part of the “generational change” in leadership that has taken place in other communities on the North Shore.

“My experience working at all levels of government has given me the knowledge to get us what we need as a city,” he said.

Slate, who is 63, said the 51-year-old Cahill is trying to convince voters that they are from different generations. But Slate said he has a brother who is younger than Cahill, “so we’re the same generation.”

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