HOBOKEN – City Councilman Ravi Bhalla has emerged victorious in the six-person mayoral race, becoming the first Sikh mayor of the Mile Square City and the state of New Jersey.
Ravinder Singh Bhalla, 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.
Bhalla, who serves on the City Council, claimed the victory at Moran’s Pub on Garden Street surrounded by dozens of his supporters, as well as his friends and family.
“Thank you for having faith in me, for having faith in our community, faith in our state, and faith in our country; this is what America is all about,” he told the packed bar. “We’ve been through a bruising campaign… but now is the time we come together and see who we can work with to bring this city forward.”
He bested a six-person field of challengers that included council members Michael DeFusco and Jennifer Giattino, as well as Hudson County Freeholder Anthony Romano.
During days leading up to his election, fliers accusing him of being a terrorist were passed around town. Bhalla however turned the other cheek.
Yesterday, a flyer w/ word “terrorist” above a pic of me was circulated in Hob. Of course this is troubling, but we won’t let hate win. pic.twitter.com/Ri9xrYF4Al
— Ravinder S. Bhalla (@RaviBhalla) 4 November 2017
In the race for three at-large seats on the City Council, two members of Bhalla’s slate – James Doyle and Emily Jabbour were victorious, while DeFusco team member Vanessa Falco was also elected, according to the unofficial election results.
Bhalla’s term begins January 1.