Home / Top Story / Hoboken elects first Sikh mayor days after racist flyer

Hoboken elects first Sikh mayor days after racist flyer

Hoboken elected its first Sikh mayor on Tuesday night, days after a flyer branded him as a “terrorist.”

Ravinder Bhalla, a councilman born and raised in New Jersey, defeated five other candidates to take the place of Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who announced she would step down after two terms.

Bhalla celebrated his victory by thanking his supporters and saying, “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.”

Last week, a flyer was left on car windshields around the city, picturing Bhalla with the words “Don’t let TERRORISM take over our Town” printed over his head.

Last week, a flyer was left on car windshields around the city, picturing Bhalla with the words “Don’t let TERRORISM take over our Town” printed over his head.

(Handout)

Last week, a flyer was left on car windshields around the city, picturing Bhalla with the words “Don’t let TERRORISM take over our Town” printed over his head.

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Bhalla, who spoke to the Daily News on Saturday, said, “There’s been an undercurrent of racism I’ve seen in this campaign. That sort of whispering campaign has come to the surface now, where people have the audacity to send a flyer like that.”

Hoboken police said they are investigating it as a bias incident. They have released stills from surveillance footage saying they are looking for these persons of interest.

Hoboken police said they are investigating it as a bias incident. They have released stills from surveillance footage saying they are looking for these persons of interest.

(Hoboken Police Department)

While the flyers were stamped with fellow mayoral candidate Mike DeFusco’s name, he denied any involvement, saying the flyer altered an existing campaign mailer to add the slanderous terrorism line.

“I condemn this piece of racist garbage in the strongest possible terms,” DeFusco said in a statement. “Political stunts like this are everything that’s wrong with politics today.”

Bhalla said, “There’s been an undercurrent of racism I’ve seen in this campaign" Police are still searching for two persons of interest. 

Bhalla said, “There’s been an undercurrent of racism I’ve seen in this campaign” Police are still searching for two persons of interest. 

(Hoboken Police Department)

DeFusco’s campaign members reported the flyers to Hoboken police, who said they are investigating it as a bias incident.

Police released surveillance footage on Monday and said they are looking for two persons of interest in connection to the incident.

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