Hoboken Elects First Sikh Mayor Days After Fliers Paint Him as 'Terrorist' - NBC New York

Hoboken Elects First Sikh Mayor Days After Fliers Paint Him as 'Terrorist'

Bhalla, an Indian-American born in New Jersey, will be the state's first Sikh mayor

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Edited NJ Mayoral Fliers Prompt Police Bias Investigation

    Police were called after one Hoboken mayoral candidate saw his own posters on the streets -- but they looked different. Someone had them printed with a biased message above the face of another candidate, who is Sikh and wears a turban.

    (Published Monday, Nov. 6, 2017)

    Hoboken voters elected City Councilman Ravi Bhalla to be their next mayor, beating out five other candidates in the race. 

    Bhalla will succeed Dawn Zimmer, who did not run for a third term. Bhalla, an Indian-American born in New Jersey, will be the state's first Sikh mayor. Zimmer had endorsed Bhalla.

    The new mayor has said he plans on prioritizing infrastructure, commuting and open space.

    Bhalla's victory came just days after fliers surfaced that painted him as a terrorist.

    The fliers, which were placed on car windshields Friday night, have a photo of Bhalla. In red letters above him, the fliers read: “Don’t let TERRORISM take over our Town!”

    The leaflets appear to be a modified version of mailers sent out by another Hoboken mayoral candidate, Mike DeFusco. The original fliers accused Bhalla of having a potential conflict of interest.

    DeFusco condemned the altered fliers.

    “I spoke out not only against the racist, disgusting flier targeting Ravi Bhalla that appeared last night and was made to look like it came from my campaign, but also against the rest of the hate that has been shamefully displayed throughout this race,” DeFusco said in a statement after the fliers surfaced.

    Bhalla had addressed the terrorism fliers, calling them “troubling” in a statement. “We won't let hate win in Hoboken,” he said.

    Bhalla took to Twitter Tuesday night after his victory to thank the city of Hoboken and saying he looks "forward" to being mayor. 

    Meanwhile, the race for New Jersey governor ended in a Phil Murphy victory as he beat out Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.

    Democrat Phil Murphy Projected Winner in NJ Gov's RaceDemocrat Phil Murphy Projected Winner in NJ Gov's Race

    Democrat Phil Murphy defeated Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno in the race to succeed term-limited Gov. Chris Christie. Brian Thompson reports.

    (Published Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017)

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