BEVERLY — Mike Cahill swept to a strong victory in yesterday’s mayoral preliminary race, setting up what promises to be a stiff challenge for second-place finisher Wes Slate in November’s final.
Cahill, a former City Council president and state representative, won all six wards to top Slate by more than 1,000 votes and earn 57 percent of the vote.
Cahill finished with 2,969 votes, while Slate garnered 1,879 to advance to the final. U.S. Army veteran Euplio “Rick” Marciano, in his fifth try for political office, placed a distant third with 325 votes and was eliminated from the race.
It marked the second time in three years that Cahill topped the ticket in the mayoral preliminary race. In 2011, he went on to lose to Bill Scanlon in November.
“We’ve won, and it feels really, really good,” Cahill told about 60 supporters at the Italian Community Center, who gave him a standing ovation when the results were announced. “We know we’ve got to win one more.”
Slate, a three-term Ward 2 city councilor who was making his first run for citywide office, won only his home precinct of Ward 2, Precinct 2. Cahill edged Slate in Ward 2 overall by four votes.
Slate, a 63-year-old sales associate for Crane Electronics in Beverly, said he was heartened by the support he received in sections of the city where he’s never been on the ballot before. He finished with 36 percent of the vote.
But he acknowledged he’s in for an “uphill fight” to knock off Cahill in November.
“I’ve been involved in a lot of political campaigns. I’m not naive to think this isn’t an uphill fight,” Slate said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Cahill, 51, is a veteran of citywide elections, having won five of them for state representative and topping the ticket in his only City Council at-large race in 2009. He came within 353 votes of beating Scanlon for mayor in 2011.