BEVERLY — Mayor Bill Scanlon announced yesterday that he will not run for re-election, a decision that will end the longest mayoral run in city history.
Scanlon was first elected in 1993 and is serving his ninth two-year term. He said he still loves the job but could not muster the motivation for another campaign, which would have been the 11th of his unprecedented political career.
“I really tried to put myself in campaign mode again, and it really just didn’t fit,” he said. “It’s been a struggle to figure it out, but I’ve really just decided it’s time.”
Scanlon said he made his decision about 10 days ago but held off his announcement due to the Boston Marathon bombings. He gathered his staff at City Hall yesterday morning to inform them of his decision.
Scanlon, who is 73, said he is in good health and would have happily served another two years if his term were for four years, but did not relish the prospect of another campaign.
“It’s nearly impossible to really campaign hard and do the job,” he said. “The time I lost (to Tom Crean in 2001), I was spending a lot of time on the job.”
The announcement throws the race for mayor wide-open. Former City Council President Mike Cahill, who lost a close race to Scanlon in 2011, said yesterday that he is “seriously considering” another run and will make his decision soon.
“But today’s really a day to talk about Mayor Scanlon,” Cahill said. “I want to thank him for two decades of really exemplary service to our city.”
Another potential candidate, current City Council President Paul Guanci, said yesterday that he will probably not run. Guanci said it would be difficult financially to give up his Super Sub business, which he is considering expanding to another location.