BY PAUL LEIGHTON
---- — Beverly School Committee President Maria Decker and City Councilor Scott Houseman said yesterday that they are considering a run for mayor in the wake of Bill Scanlon’s announcement that he will not seek re-election.
Decker said she would “seriously consider” entering the race, while Houseman said it is “certainly an opportunity worth considering.”
Meanwhile, several other potential candidates reached yesterday said they will not run for mayor.
Scanlon announced Monday that he will not seek re-election after 18 years in office, the longest tenure of any mayor in the city’s history.
Candidates have until Aug. 2 to take out nomination papers, but political observers contacted yesterday said they had no idea how the race is going to shape up.
“I was expecting the mayor to run again, so I don’t really know who’s going to run,” Ward 5 Councilor Don Martin said. “A lot of us are shocked that he’s bowing out.”
Mike Cahill, a former City Council president and state representative who lost to Scanlon by only 353 votes two years ago, would be an obvious favorite if he enters the race. Cahill said Monday that he is “seriously considering” a run and will make his decision soon.
Two other potentially strong candidates are Paul Guanci and Tim Flaherty. But Guanci, the City Council president, said he probably will not run because of his commitment to his family-run business.
Flaherty said last month that he will not run and has taken a new job as executive director of the Cape Ann YMCA.
U.S. Army veteran Euplio Marciano, who has lost several bids for public office, is the only candidate to have taken out nomination papers thus far.
City Councilors Maureen Troubetaris, Wes Slate, Jim Latter, Scott Dullea, Brett Schetzsle and Martin all said yesterday that they will not enter the mayor’s race. Councilor Jason Silva could not be reached for comment.
State Rep. Jerry Parisella and former City Councilors Bruce Nardella and Patricia Grimes said yesterday that they are not planning to run.
Latter, the Ward 3 councilor, described Cahill as the “800-pound gorilla” whose presence in the race might discourage some potential candidates.
Cahill has won five elections for state representative, topped the ticket for City Council in 2009 and finished first in the 2011 mayoral primary before losing to Scanlon in the final election.
“Assuming Mike’s in, that’s a formidable challenge,” Latter said.
Several councilors noted that Scanlon was a relative unknown when he first ran for mayor in 1993, so maybe somebody new will step forward.
“The likelihood that there’s another Bill Scanlon out there that none of us know or are thinking of, it’s always possible,” Slate said.
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or firstname.lastname@example.org.