SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

November 7, 2013

Election brings big changes to Beverly

BEVERLY — It wasn’t exactly a youth movement. Three of the six newly elected candidates are over 50.

It wasn’t a total throw-out-the-old-guard movement. Six of the eight incumbents were re-elected.

But even if there were no overarching theme explaining Tuesday’s results, the 2013 Beverly election still brought sweeping change to the city’s political landscape.

Voters — or at least the 41 percent who showed up at the polls — elected a new mayor, four new city councilors and one new School Committee member.

“Obviously, the turnover is greater than we’ve seen in recent years,” said Ward 5 City Councilor Don Martin, the one City Council incumbent who did not face any opposition. “I don’t think that’s necessarily bad. Maybe it will be healthy to get some new faces up there and maybe some different ideas.”

The biggest change will come at the top of the ballot, where Mike Cahill beat Wes Slate in the mayor’s race and will succeed Bill Scanlon, who is retiring after a record 18 years in office.

The result was no surprise. Cahill had won six previous citywide elections for state representative or city councilor and nearly knocked off Scanlon two years ago in his first run for mayor. Slate, the Ward 2 city councilor, had never run for office outside of his ward and finished second to Cahill in the preliminary election by more than 1,000 votes.

“It kind of played out exactly as I thought it would,” said Ward 3 Councilor Jim Latter, who supported Cahill. “Mike was a very formidable candidate. I said Wes would run a credible campaign, and he did. I didn’t know if he would make it competitive. (Getting 44 percent of the vote) isn’t horrible.”

Cahill spent early yesterday morning waving to passers-by on Essex Street near Harry Ball Field as a thank-you for his victory. He attended the North Shore Chamber of Commerce breakfast and went to his current job as executive director of the Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs.

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