BEVERLY — Former City Council president and state representative Mike Cahill announced yesterday that he is running for mayor, injecting a formidable candidate into the race to replace Bill Scanlon.
Cahill has won a combined six elections for state representative and city councilor and came within 353 votes of beating Scanlon two years ago.
“Today, my campaign for mayor of the city of Beverly begins in earnest,” Cahill said in his announcement. “I look forward to meeting, talking with, and hearing from the voters of Beverly throughout the next several months.”
Scanlon announced last month that he will not seek re-election after a record 18 years in office, leaving the door wide open for a candidate like Cahill.
Two of the Cahill’s strongest potential opponents, Paul Guanci and Tim Flaherty, have said that they do not plan to run, although Guanci, the current City Council president, has qualified his decision by saying that he “probably” will not run.
City Councilors Scott Houseman and Wes Slate and School Committee President Maria Decker have said they are considering a run for mayor. The only other declared candidate is U.S. Army veteran Euplio Marciano.
Cahill, 51, was Beverly’s state representative for 10 years, from 1993 to 2002, and served for two years on the City Council, in 2010-11, earning the council presidency by virtue of being the top vote-getter in the election. He lost a bid for state treasurer in 2002.
Cahill, who lives on Foster Drive, is an attorney who works as the executive director of the Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs. He is a lifelong Beverly resident from a large, well-known family.
“I know Beverly,” he said in his announcement. “I am a lifelong resident. I was educated in the Beverly Public Schools. I have served in elected and volunteer capacities for many years. I know what matters to the people of Beverly.”
“I bring the skills, the experience, the relationships, and the determination to move our city forward,” he said. “... I am fully prepared to lead.”
Cahill praised Scanlon for “his two decades of invaluable service to the people and the city of Beverly” and credited the mayor and “many other Beverly citizens” with leaving the city “in outstanding shape.”
“A strong foundation has been built, and Beverly is poised for continued success,” Cahill said.
Among other goals, Cahill said he wants to complete the new middle school project, revitalize the downtown and waterfront, improve roads and sidewalks, and establish Beverly as a regional cultural center to attract tourism and economic growth.
“My singular focus will be on the issues that contribute to the quality of life we all value here in Beverly,” he said.
Candidates have until Aug. 2 to take out nomination papers. They must be returned to City Hall with 100 signatures by Aug. 20. The preliminary election is Sept. 24 and the final election is Nov. 5.
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or firstname.lastname@example.org.