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Hackensack: Challengers come out on top in council race

Bill Kennedy1 / 2
Jim Schneider2 / 2

From the moment candidate filings were complete in August, it was obvious that this election could significantly change the Hackensack City Council with two seats open and no less than four applicants seeking those seats.

But it was anyone's guess that Jim Schneider and Bill Kennedy, both challengers, would win the election.

Kennedy was the only candidate who could be reached for comment Tuesday night. He said he would like to work on strengthening the cohesiveness in the city.

"I'm excited because I want to see some things change," Kennedy said. "I want to see a different attitude in our town."

Incumbents Gus Kaubisch and Debbie Rateike faced re-election for their four-year seats. Kaubisch has served on the council for six years while Rateike has been a council member for eight years.

Competing against the incumbents were Kennedy, perhaps known best for his operation of the weekly summer kids fishing contest and his campaign to get the seawall repaired, and Schneider, a retired Hackensack firefighter and former fire department treasurer.

Leading the race was Kennedy with 82 votes (32.67 percent). Schneider followed with 80 votes (31.87 percent), while Rateike received 44 votes (17.53 percent) and Kaubisch garnered 45 votes (17.93 percent).