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Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, the First Sikh to Hold Elected Office in New Jersey, Announces Re-election Bid

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, the First Sikh to Hold Elected Office in New Jersey, Announces Re-election Bid

  • The Indian American made history in November 2017 by becoming the mayor of this cosmopolitan New Jersey town.

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla has announced that he will run again for another term this November. Bhalla made history in 2017, by becoming the first Sikh to hold elected office in New Jersey and the first directly elected Sikh to become mayor in the country. While still a councilman-at-large, Bhalla won a six-way contest that included 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco and 6th Ward Councilwoman Jen Giattino, the Hudson County View reported. 

Bhalla had the support of outgoing Mayor Dawn Zimmer at the time, who unexpectedly decided not to seek a third term. His campaign championed issues he fought for as a two term Councilmember, including balanced development, open space initiatives, flood remediation, sensible spending, and other important topics facing the Hoboken community.

As per the Hudson County View, Bhalla has already secured two high-profile labor union endorsements, as well as the support of the local Police Superior Officers Association. He is currently running unopposed though DeFusco and Giattino have left open the possibility of challenging him again.

“Nearly four years ago, Hoboken residents gave me the privilege of a lifetime, electing me as Mayor of our great city,” he says on his website. “Since then we’ve come together, friends and neighbors moving our city forward in the midst of a global pandemic, creating durable quality of life improvements, while also keeping Hoboken on a sound long-term fiscal path.”

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“Hoboken is strong, our residents are resilient, and because of you and so many others, our outlook is bright,” he said. “That’s why today, I’m glad to share the news that I’m running for re-election as Hoboken Mayor,” he added. “Together, we’ve accomplished a great deal over the past four years. With an eye to the future, we looked at ways to create sustainable, environmentally sound infrastructure improvements that reflect the values we share as a community.

In November 2017, the New Jersey born Bhalla’s race took an ugly turn, as fliers attacking him were distributed. The message, “Don’t let TERRORISM take over our town!” was written above Bhalla’s photograph. “We won’t let hate win in Hoboken,” he wrote on Facebook then, in response to the fliers.

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