Hoboken, NJ – After a vicious battle, a Hoboken city councilman and lawayer topped five candidates to succeed Mayor Dawn Zimmer.
Ravi Bhalla will become Hoboken’s first Sikh mayor after being targeted by racist flyers.
Bhalla had been the subject of anonymously distributed flyers that labeled him a terrorist. The flyers featured a picture of Bhalla with the message “Don’t let TERRORISM take over our Town!”
“I did my own dry cleaning this morning, so nothing’s changed,” he said at the Hoboken train station Wednesday morning.
The race got ugly in its final days, with the distribution of the racist flyers. The Indian-American politician called them troubling in a Twitter post but said “we won’t let hate win.”
“I think that was outside the pale,” he said. “But you know, maybe it made people realize that this type of stuff really happens in the real world, and we need to send a message.”
And voters sent that message.
“I think it definitely made more people come out to the polls,” Hoboken resident Tara Simonelli said. “That is not what Hoboken’s about, and I was upset to see that going on in our town.”
The police are investigating the origination of the flyers.
Bhalla says he plans on prioritizing infrastructure, commuting and open space.