Hoboken mayoral candidate Bhalla cites Trump in ‘brown man wearing a turban’ ad

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HOBOKEN — In Hoboken, outgoing Mayor Dawn Zimmer, like some mayors in other U.S. cities, has said that certain Donald Trump administration policies could hurt local residents. She has criticized some of his immigration policies and been vocal against his stance on the Paris Accords/climate change.
Trump has become an issue in the current Hoboken mayoral campaign, too. Mayoral candidate Ravi Bhalla, a councilman and lawyer who’s been endorsed by Zimmer, has said in at least three pieces of campaign literature that he will “stand up to Trump” and fight hate. Meanwhile, his opponents have said he is trying to use national issues to claim a local office.
In a provocative mailer sent to residents Wednesday, he said that he is “Everything Trump hates, a brown man wearing a turban.” (Bhalla’s religion is Sikh. He has spoken out in past years against discrimination.)
Some believe that national issues should not be important in the traditionally non-partisan Hoboken mayor and council races, while others disagree.
Councilwoman Jen Giattino, also a Zimmer ally, may split the same voter base as Bhalla. She is a registered Republican. Earlier this summer, she declined at first to speak out on who she voted for in last year’s presidential election, but later said she had voted for Libertarian Gary Johnson.
In our mayoral candidate article last week, she said she would stand up to Trump if any of his policies stood to harm local residents.
Six people are running for mayor, and 14 are running for City Council. A few of the 14 council candidates are Republicans. One of them, Joshua Einstein, has said he “100 percent” supports Trump. Another who has been a registered Republican in the past, Angelo Valente, has declined to say for whom he voted last year.
We ran a story earlier this summer about the council candidates’ stances on the issue. And you can read the mayoral candidates’ thoughts using the above link.
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