Esteves wins Democratic nomination for Third Ward Council in Kearny, fending off challenge from appointed sitting Councilman da Silva

Esteves, center, celebrates his victory with Mayor Carol Jean Doyle, Fred’s family and supporters at the Kearny American Legion. Photo courtesy of Marytrine DeCastro

Fred Esteves won the Democratic nomination for the open Third Ward Council seat in Kearny, beating a man who was appointed to the seat in November against the wishes of Mayor Carol Jean Doyle.

With all 9 districts reporting, Esteves had 334 votes to Renato da Silva’s 262 votes according to the Hudson County Clerk’s Office.

This unofficial tally represents Esteves with 56% of the vote and da Silva with 44% of the votes.

A total of 596 ballots have been cast in the Third Ward, representing an exceptionally low turnout.

Once the results are certified by Kearny Town Clerk Pat Carpenter, da Silva immediately becomes a lame duck. He was appointed to his seat late last year against the wishes of Mayor Carol Jean Doyle, whose council seat he took after she became mayor. da Silva will continue to serve in an appointed capacity until November, when Esteves would square off against Republican nominee, businessman Jorge Santos. The winner of that race would take office as soon as Carpenter certifies that election.

Then, the seat would be up, once again, in 2025, in addition to three other council seats and the mayor’s seat.

Doyle — in addition to Councilmembers Jerry Ficeto and Marytrine DeCastro — supported Esteves in his bid for the nomination, and was their choice to fill the seat that ultimately went to da Silva.

da Silva’s backers included five of the Static Six — Councilmembers George Zapata, Richard Konopka, Dennis Solano, Eileen Eckel and Stat Theodoropoulos — who were all also supporters of the 2023 mayoral contest’s third-place finisher former Councilman Peter P. Santana.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.