A slate of candidates will challenge a team led by Hackensack Mayor John Labrosse, they announced Thursday.
New Jersey Citizen Action director of development Leila Amirhamzeh, Bergen County NAACP economic development chair Randy Glover, Hackensack Chamber of Commerce member Andee Post, educator Caseen Gaines and business owner Mary Lopez will run on the “For Hackensack’s Future” slate.
“We need leaders who concern themselves with the needs of our residents, not just the needs of some businesses,” Glover said. “I’ve been out there helping my neighbors on a consistent basis. That’s what Hackensack needs and that’s why I’m running.”
They’ll face Labrosse, Deputy Mayor Kathleen Canestrino, Councilman Leo Battaglia, Councilwoman Stephanie Von Rudenborg and educator Gerald Carroll.
Deputy Mayor David Sims was dropped from the incumbent ticket after bringing a family member who had tested positive for COVID-19 into city hall.
The challengers plan to run as progressives.
“These new developments are corporate welfare,” Amirhamzeh said. “For up to 30 years, developers will benefit from tax breaks and not contribute a cent toward our schools–all while charging almost $2500/month for luxury apartments that will further overcrowd our schools and city roads, continue to drive up rents throughout the city, increase property taxes, and force small businesses out of Main Street as our city becomes gentrified.”
The incumbents met the announcement with a jab of their own.
“Looks like the Labrosse Team’s opponents in Hackensack are going full NIMBY right out of the gate,” former Labrosse campaign spokesman Phil Swibinski said, using an acronym for “not in my back yard.” “This kind of disingenuous rhetoric stops affordable housing and contributes to homelessness and housing insecurity. Not exactly ‘progressive’ from a team that claims to be.”
This article was updated with comment from Phil Swibinski at 1:25 p.m. It was updated again at 2:49 p.m. to remove an erroneous reference calling him a campaign spokesman.