Hoboken elects first Sikh mayor, dismisses racist flyers

New Jersey

Bhalla won the mayoral race in Hoboken NJ. By Chris Thomas Wed

Ravinder Bhalla has become the first ever Sikh mayor of New Jersey's Hoboken city after a stiff competition that turned ugly when he was labelled a terrorist in slanderous flyers.

Bhalla wasn't the only one who won over hate, though, as a Chinese and another Indian were elected onto a school board in Edison, also in New Jersey, amid hate-filled flyers demanding they should be deported and that Indians and Chinese were "stealing" jobs.

Bhalla, who has been on the city council for more than seven years, claimed the victory at Moran's Pub on Garden Street yesterday with dozens of his supporters, as well as his friends and family, NJ.com reported.

The faces of candidates Jingwei "Jerry" Shi and Falguni Patel were plastered on a mailer circulating throughout Edison, alongside the words "Make Edison Great Again". It asked to prevent them from "taking over our" school board.

"...there is no conflict in this country between being a Sikh and being a successful American", Bhalla told the Huffington Post. The candidates received wide support and their election rivals condemned bigoted pamphlets. "We won't let hate win", Bhalla tweeted after the pamphlets were circulated.

In his place, Democratic challenger Phil Murphy won a decisive victory over Republican Kim Guadagno, who had been Christie's lieutenant governor and would've been his GOP successor.

Bhalla, an Indian-American born in New Jersey, was endorsed by current Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who in a surprising decision announced she would not seek a third term in office. The Indian-origin politician hit back at the troll, saying "you clearly don't know what it means to be an American".

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