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After 35 years St. Joseph Mayor B.J. Hackler has announced he will not be running for mayor in the upcoming election on April 4.
Hackler, who has served as mayor since 1981 and as a village trustee for 10 years before that, announced on Monday night that he will not be seeking reelection.
Hackler said that he has felt his 45 years of service has been successful not because of him but because of the residents of the village.
“This is your community,” he said before voting took place at the Republican caucus. “You are making it what it is today.”
Hackler said this was not a decision he and his wife, Dixie, came to lightly.
“Dixie and I have had a bucket list going for some time,” he said. “We are ready to start working on that bucket list.”
Hackler said this includes traveling and spending time with family.
Hackler nominated Trustee Tami Fruhling-Voges to run for mayor.
Fruhling-Voges has been a trustee since 2005.
Hackler gave Fruhling-Voges a strong endorsement.
“Tami has been the Mayor Pro-Tem for several years,” Hackler said. “She has chaired the finance committee and traveled with me to Springfield,” Hackler said. “She is qualified and I support her 100 percent.”
Fruhling-Voges thanked Hackler for the endorsement.
“I have very big shoes to fill,” she said. “I have appreciated all the years of his mentoring and his experience.”
Hackler also told those in attendance that he would not be leaving St. Joseph.
“After April 25 they will hear me on the other side,” he said. “I will continue to work with them during this transitional period. There are projects I want to help with.”
Fruhling-Voges said she hoped Hackler would still be around.
“I will have lots of questions and need his advice,” she said.
Bob Rigdon, Suzanne Rogers and Andy Gherna will run for four year terms as trustees.
Art Rapp will run for a two year term.
No one attended the democratic caucus.