BY PAUL LEIGHTON
---- — BEVERLY — As a kid growing up in Beverly, Matt St. Hilaire would often hear his father and his uncle talking politics.
“My dad was a Reagan guy, and my uncle was a Dukakis guy,” he said. “I always saw their passion when politics came up, and that sort of intrigued me at a young age.”
St. Hilaire studied political science at Villanova University and served as a college intern on Paul Cellucci’s campaign for governor. He went on to a 15-year political career, working in the governor’s office under Cellucci and then on the political campaigns of Kerry Healey, Charlie Baker and Richard Tisei.
St. Hilaire now works in the private sector as a corporate recruiter but is looking to return to politics on the local level with a run for City Council.
“I saw all the change happening in our city, and I thought it was a once-in-a-lifetime election,” he said. “Mayor Scanlon (who is not running for re-election) was elected when I was a junior in high school. A new group of people are going to be making a lot of big decisions. I thought I had the experience and would be able to contribute.”
St. Hilaire said his background will serve him well as a city councilor.
“I’ve been in high-pressure environments; I’ve seen how the political process works,” he said. “I’ve helped people navigate through the bureaucracy for state government, and I’ve developed a network of local and state elected officials and administrators. It will help me get things done.”
With the city facing several large projects, from a new middle school to the Brimbal Avenue interchange, St. Hilaire said he would emphasize transparency and fiscal responsibility and take a “more proactive approach” to reaching out to the community.
“I just want to see that as we get a new group of people in and look to do all these projects, that we manage that responsibly,” he said.
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matt St. Hilaire Address: 27R West St. Unit 5 Age: 36 Employment: Corporate recruiter and social media manager at GEI Consultants in Woburn Education: Beverly High School Class of 1995; bachelor's degree in political science from Villanova University Family: Wife Elizabeth; children Emma, 6; Charlotte, 5; and Boden, 1 Previous elective office: None Community involvement: Community Preservation Act Ordinance Committee; Beverly Youth Soccer coach Would you take the city's health insurance?: "I would consider it." Favorite pastime: "Hanging out with my kids and watching sports."