This is the second in a series of stories about the candidates for Beverly mayor.
BEVERLY — When Mike Cahill ran for state representative in 1993, he was a teacher and coach who had never sought political office before.
But he had one advantage his opponent did not: a large, well-known family with deep ties in the community.
"The first time I ran for state representative, I became aware that I was elected because of all the goodwill generated by my family," Cahill said.
At 49, with five terms as a state rep and two years as a City Council president on his ré©sumé©, Cahill is no longer a political novice. Now he's hoping to parlay both his hometown popularity and his public service experience into a chance to become mayor.
Cahill is one of three proven vote-getters, along with incumbent Mayor Bill Scanlon and former City Council President Tim Flaherty, who will meet in Tuesday's preliminary election. U.S. Army veteran Euplio "Rick" Marciano is also on the ballot. The top two finishers will advance to the Nov. 8 final election.
Cahill is one of six sons of the late William Cahill, who served as a Ward 6 alderman in the 1960s, and the late Jeanne Cahill, a longtime teacher in the city's public schools. His brother Bill Cahill is a former School Committee president. Mike Cahill's strength as a candidate became evident in 2009 when he topped the ballot in the City Council at-large race despite a seven-year absence from political office.
Cahill acknowledged that he had an eye on the mayor's office when he decided to run for City Council.
"I had in mind that I wanted to get in under the hood of city government and make sure I had the knowledge that I needed," he said.