By Jonathan Phelps
---- — BEVERLY — John Frates defeated incumbent Ward 6 City Councilor Brett Schetzsle in yesterday’s election.
This means there will be four new members of the City Council as Mike Cahill takes over the reins as mayor from Bill Scanlon, who decided not to seek re-election after 18 years. All other incumbent council candidates were returned to office by the voters.
Candidates Matt St. Hilaire, David Lang and Estelle Rand will join Frates on the council as first-time members.
Frates, 55, who won with 52 percent of the vote, was at home last night waiting for the election results on TV when Schetzsle called to congratulate him. Frates served as a city alderman from 1988 to 1990, filling a seat left vacant by the passing of Al Romani. This is his first time being elected, he said.
“I am happy the community has supported my family for so long. The whole intent was to give back as much as I could,” Frates said, noting that he was concerned about being out of city politics for nearly 25 years. “What I heard loud and clear is approachability, visibility and connection to the municipal process.”
Schetzsle, 36, said he was proud of his approach as city councilor for the past two years, saying he has delivered on his promise of being an independent voice.
“I hope the new council and mayor will work together to move us forward with the issues we face,” he said.
St. Hilaire will join incumbents Paul Guanci and Jason Silva as an at-large councilor. Guanci received the most votes with 7,591. Silva received 5,549 votes and St. Hilaire, 4,125.
In having received the most votes, Guanci, 54, will remain as City Council president. He has been on the council for 12 years and will return for his seventh term, five of which he’s served as president.
“It means a lot because we are going to have a new mayor, who we now know will be Mike Cahill,” Guanci said last night. “I think that my experience as a city councilor will help ease him into the job.”
He said he is thankful for all the support from Beverly residents over the years. “I love what I do, and I am looking forward to keeping things moving in Beverly,” he said.
St. Hilaire, 36, studied political science at Villanova University and served as a college intern on Paul Cellucci’s campaign for governor. He went on to a 15-year political career, working in the governor’s office under Cellucci and then on the political campaigns of Kerry Healey, Charlie Baker and Richard Tisei. He now works in the private sector as a corporate recruiter. He could not be reached for comment last night.
Candidates Todd Murphy, 38, and Todd Rotondo, 41, received 4,081 and 2,599 votes, respectively.
Silva, 36, said he is excited to return to the council for a second term.
“I am looking forward to working with the new administration and a lot of new faces on the City Council,” he said.
At-large Councilor Scott Dullea, 33, did not seek re-election. The only ward where there was no council race is Ward 5, where longtime incumbent Don Martin ran unopposed.
Lang, 63, a political newcomer, will replace Maureen Troubetaris, 70, who has served 22 years as the Ward 1 councilor. Lang beat Michael Rotondo, 898 votes to 741. He said he is looking forward to working on the middle school project and trying to resolve some of the waterfront issues for development.
“I plan to serve the voters well in Ward 1,” he said. “My background in engineering and water issues will be a complement to the existing City Council. I look forward to getting to work in January.”
Rand, 36, will replace City Councilor Wes Slate, who unsuccessfully ran for mayor. She beat 36-year-old Bryant Ayles, 827 votes to 558.
“I am very excited and really proud of the friendly race that Bryant and I ran,” she said. “What I hope to bring to the council is my ability to collaborate with different groups in the city and my vision for preserving our neighborhood spirit.”
Ward 3 Councilor Jim Latter, 48, beat 43-year-old challenger Scott Hunt, 842 votes to 266.
“I think I’ve done a lot of hard work and that showed at the polls today,” Latter said. “I am looking forward to working with a new administration and looking forward to another two years with my good friend Paul Guanci as president.”
Ward 4 Councilor Scott Houseman, 58, defeated 30-year-old John Mullady, 1,227 votes to 614.
Staff writer Jonathan Phelps can be reached at 978-338-2527 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at JPhelps_SN.