Flyers calling Bhalla as a terrorist was widely circulated on social media just days before the election.
Indian American Ravi Bhalla has won the mayoral election for Hoboken city, becoming the first Sikh Mayor of the city. Bhalla will replace current Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who decided not to seek a third term in office.
Bhalla claimed the victory at Moran’s Pub on Garden Street days after he was targeted as a terrorist.
“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.”
Zimmer had endorsed Bhalla after she decided not to run for the office in June. Bhalla has been on the city council for more than seven years.
The Indian American defeated five other candidates including council members Michael DeFusco and Jennifer Giattino, as well as Hudson County
Freeholder Anthony Romano to become the Mayor of the city.
Terrorism Flyer against Bhalla
Flyers calling Bhalla as a terrorist was widely circulated on social media just days before the election. The flyers asked New Jersians not to let terrorism take over their town. “Don’t let TERRORISM take over our Town!” read the text in the flyer.
The flyer also said if Bhalla became the Mayor it would have great repercussions on the city’s water supply as the supplier is a client of the law firm which Bhalla is a partner.
Other than this, the flyer didn’t have any incriminating accusations against Bhalla that connected him with terrorist activities. Adding to this, the details of the conflict of interest with the water supplier were written in much smaller size.
“Of course, this is troubling, but I want to be clear: We won’t let hate win in Hoboken,” Bhalla wrote on Facebook responding to the flyers. “I want people to know that Hoboken is a welcoming community where my wife and I are proud to raise our two young children,” he added.