Courtesy photoAfter finishing third in the mayoral preliminary election last month, former City Council President Tim Flaherty endorsed Mayor William F. Scanlon, Jr.’s re-election bid yesterday.
Current City Council President Michael Cahill collected 36.54 percent of the votes (2,467) compared to Scanlon’s 33.66 percent (2,273) in the primary, setting the stage for a battle in the final election on Nov. 8. Flaherty did not advance to the final after coming in third with 27.49 percent of the vote (1,856). Retired U.S. Army Sergeant Euplio Marciano finished last with 2.15 percent, or 145 votes.
“Since the Sept. 20 preliminary election, I have had a chance to reflect on the outcome, and while I am personally disappointed, this isn’t about me,” Flaherty said in a statement. “It’s about Beverly’s future. It’s about choosing between two candidates — and between the two remaining candidates. Bill Scanlon far exceeds his opponent in terms of experience and know-how.
“It’s clear we all saw the need for similar projects going forward. It was our personal strategies on how to get there that differed. I thought I could offer a different approach from the other candidates to meet these goals. But now that I’m out, for now, I’d like my supporters and others to know who I think can do the best job in the next two years. That person is Bill Scanlon.”
Scanlon, who was first elected in 1994, is the longest serving mayor in the city’s history with 16 years of City Hall experience. The 71-year-old mayor lost to Tom Crean in 2001 before returning two years later to beat Crean. He’s won back his office every year since with at least 59 percent of the vote.
During the run up to the preliminary election both Cahill, 49, and Flaherty, 44, said they would run a much more open administration than Scanlon.
“The mayor holds things close to his chest,” Flaherty said in Sept. 16 Beverly Your Town story. “It’s not Bill Scanlon’s seat. He’s been there for 16 years, I just think it’s time to bring more energy into the mayor’s office. I have the experience and passion to move Beverly forward.”
But yesterday Flaherty struck a different tone.
“The economy is tough with lots of people who are suffering,” he said. “Right now, Beverly needs a mayor with a strong financial background in city finances. I love Beverly and would have brought a lot of passion and hard work to the job. My commitment has and always will be for a better Beverly. Again, comparing the two remaining candidates, Bill Scanlon is the person for the job. This is not a personal decision – it is a business decision.”
Flaherty added, “However, I still encourage the residents of Beverly to do their own research and talk to their local elected officials and civic leaders."
Justin A. Rice can be reached at email@example.com.