Let the campaigns begin.
The preliminaries are over, and now it’s time for candidates — and voters — to go down to the wire for the November elections. Although there’s lots of talk about voter fatigue statewide, on a local level, there are interesting and important races in Salem, Beverly and Peabody.
In Beverly, the big race is, of course, for mayor. After a record 18 years, Mayor Bill Scanlon is stepping down, and voters have a choice between former state Rep. Mike Cahill and City Councilor Wes Slate. Cahill made a strong showing in the preliminary, but anything could happen with a bigger voter turnout later this fall.
Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll has only token opposition from a first-time candidate. Here the big race is for School Committee, and with city schools struggling to turn around some dismal test scores, it’s one of the most important. There are also interesting races for city councilor, particularly in Wards 1 and 2.
Peabody will have contests for councilor-at-large and Wards 2, 3, and 5.
So, if you’ve ever complained about a pothole or a public policy, this is your chance to do something. City voters are lucky this year to have real choices; let’s hope they take advantage of it.