Editor’s note: Incumbent Jim Latter and challenger Scott Hunt are vying for the Ward 3 City Council seat. The election is Nov. 5.
BEVERLY — Two years ago, Jim Latter was the youngest elected official in the city. If he wins re-election on Nov. 5, he’ll be at least third in terms of seniority on the City Council.
Latter’s ascension in the ranks is a reflection of the recent turnover on the City Council and also of his continued presence in Ward 3. He served two terms as the ward’s School Committee representative and is now seeking a third two-year term on the City Council.
“I’ve enjoyed serving people. I’ve enjoyed helping people,” he said. “Being able to help people, that’s why people run for City Council. It’s the ability to understand where to go for people when they’re in need or when they need help.”
Latter recalled becoming involved in politics when his mother was president of the teachers union in Peabody and the union backed Mayor Nick Mavroules in his campaign for Congress.
Latter served in the Air Force for four years as an electrician in the civil engineers. When he returned home, he got back into politics by working on statewide and congressional campaigns and serving as a delegate at Democratic state conventions.
“A lot of people usually go from local politics to party politics,” he said. “I kind of came the other way around.”
With the retirement of Mayor Bill Scanlon, a Navy veteran, Latter said his status as the only military veteran on the City Council will be even more important.
“It’s important for somebody to be able to identify with the real sacrifice of our combat and wartime veterans,” he said. “Even though I didn’t serve in harm’s way, I take it as a distinct honor to keep their issues on the forefront.”