“I’m disappointed, obviously, but we did everything we could have done against an opponent who was very tough and had run citywide several times,” Slate said. “We closed the gap from the preliminary, but honestly, I couldn’t think of a single thing we could’ve done differently.”
Cahill, 51, had several advantages over Slate, a three-term city councilor who was running for citywide office for the first time.
Cahill grew up in Beverly, the son of a city alderman and public school teacher and one of six brothers. He had already proven himself to be a prodigious vote-getter in city elections, having won five terms as the city’s Democratic state representative and topping the ticket in his only term on the City Council.
Cahill beat Slate by more than 1,000 votes in September’s preliminary election, then raised more than twice as much money in September and October, an advantage that allowed Cahill to send out a host of citywide mailers to residents.
Cahill thanked his family, including his five brothers, three sisters-in-law, six nephews and one niece. He reserved special praise for his late parents.
“I’ve never won an election without them, and that’s still true,” he said. “I know they’re half the votes I get every time I put my name on the ballot.”
Cahill said the election results reflect voters’ desire for a more open and inclusive government. Beverly, he said, will become a city “whose future greatness will now be shaped by more hands.”
Rantoul Street resident Barry Checchi said people are looking forward to a new face in City Hall. He called Cahill’s victory “long overdue.”
“Mike finally got his message out about being more inclusive and open,” Checchi said. “He doesn’t want to leave anybody out of the process. It was a change from what we’ve had the last 18 years.”