, Salem, MA

November 4, 2013

Political scene in Beverly set to change

Only Ward 5 has no council race


---- — BEVERLY — With voters set to choose a replacement for Bill Scanlon, the mayor’s race is naturally the big story in tomorrow’s Beverly election.

But the fate of 10 other elective offices will also be decided, including eight City Council seats and two School Committee spots.

With so many seats up for grabs, the election will reshape the city’s political scene at a time when the city is also choosing a new school superintendent and police chief.

Mike Cahill, a former state representative and city councilor, and Wes Slate, the current Ward 2 city councilor, are vying to replace Scanlon, who is retiring after a record 18 years in office.

Slate has been endorsed by Scanlon, city councilors Paul Guanci and Maureen Troubetaris, and former city councilor Kevin Hobin. Cahill is being endorsed by city councilors Jim Latter and Scott Dullea, School Committee member Kris Silverstein and former city councilor Peter Gilmore.

The City Council race includes five candidates for the three at-large seats. First-time candidates Matt St. Hilaire and Todd Murphy have both raised significant amounts of money — $10,530 for St. Hilaire, $9,075 for Murphy — to mount serious challenges.

Incumbents Paul Guanci and Jason Silva and challenger Todd Rotondo are also in the five-man field.

There are also races in five of the six wards, including for open seats in Ward 1, where longtime councilor Maureen Troubetaris is retiring, and in Ward 2, where Slate is stepping aside to run for mayor. The only ward where there is no council race is Ward 5, where longtime incumbent Don Martin will return.

In Ward 6, there are contested races for both city councilor and School Committee. Businessman John Frates is challenging first-term incumbent councilor Brett Schetzsle, while school activist Lorinda Visnick is taking on School Committee President Maria Decker.

The only other School Committee race is in Ward 5, where Duane Anderson is challenging 10-year incumbent Annemarie McNulty-Cesa.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or