Lakeshore Avenue resident Donna Mitchell said her family has known Cahill for years, ever since he helped them out with a tax problem when he was state representative.
“He took over and fixed it right away,” she said. “We’ve loved Mike forever. He knows the ins and outs at the state level.”
Another Cahill supporter, J. David Broudo, said Slate’s negative campaign piece about Cahill backfired on him.
“I am so pleased (Cahill) won,” Broudo said. “The thing that really turned me off was Wes with his negative mailer.”
The two candidates agreed on most of the issues facing the city, so Slate tried to distinguish himself by saying Cahill did not have the “work ethic” to serve as mayor.
Slate sent out a mailer that accused Cahill of being “distracted and not engaged” in his one term as City Council president. Cahill fired back at Slate in a debate at the Cove Community Center, characterizing the accusations as “character assassination.”
Slate called himself a “workhorse” who would put in the time and energy necessary to run the city. He had the backing of Scanlon, who had raised the same criticisms of Cahill in their race two years ago.
Slate was also endorsed by City Council President Paul Guanci and Ward 1 City Councilor Maureen Troubetaris, who is stepping down after 22 years on the council.
But voters’ familiarity with Cahill proved too much for Slate to overcome.
At the Italian Community Center, Cahill encouraged everyone in the room to become involved in the future of the city.
“The best part of today’s victory is that after three years of talking about what we want for Beverly, starting tonight, we finally get a chance to start doing it,” he said.
Cahill will take office in January at a time of major change in the city’s political structure. Four new city councilors and one new School Committee member were also elected yesterday. The city is also in the process of picking a new school superintendent and police chief.
Cahill’s victory also marked the beginning of the post-Scanlon era. Scanlon served four terms from 1994 to 2001 before losing to Tom Crean. He beat Crean in a rematch in 2003 and will now finish out his record ninth term before handing over the reigns to Cahill in January.
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or firstname.lastname@example.org.