Hoboken elects first Sikh mayor as Ravi Bhalla wins contentious race


Hoboken Councilman-at-Large Ravi Bhalla will be Hoboken’s first Sikh mayor after securing about 34 percent of the vote on Election Day, vowing to keep taxes stable, improve infrastructure and following Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s lead on developing open land.

“I’m just very humbled and grateful to the people of Hoboken for giving me the opportunity to serve. It’s a privilege and an honor and I look forward to rolling up my sleeves next year and moving Hoboken forward in the right direction,” Bhalla told Hudson County View last night in an interviewed that aired live on our Facebook page.

Bhalla simultaneously announced his candidacy in late June, when Mayor Dawn Zimmer confirmed she had changed course and would not be seeking a third term. She said she instead would be supporting Bhalla’s candidacy.

In a six-person field, Bhalla faced name challengers in 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco, Council President Jen Giattino and Freeholder Anthony Romano (D-5).

While DeFusco put up a fight, scoring 4,116 votes and over 29 percent of the vote, Bhalla was declared the winner around 10 p.m. with 4,781 votes and over 34 percent of the vote, according to the machine vote tallies provided by the Hudson County Clerk’s Office.

Late Friday night, a campaign flyer with Bhalla’s picture that said “Don’t let TERRORISM take over our town!” received international news coverage.

Hoboken’s next mayor said that he was surprised the election took that turn, but emphasized it did not reflect the Mile Square City as a whole.

“That’s not something that I was expecting. It was very disappointing, obviously, for me and my family. That said, that’s not what Hoboken is all about. Hoboken is a very welcoming and very diverse community: I wouldn’t be standing here as mayor-elect if it wasn’t,” said Bhalla.

When asked what a few of his top priorities as mayor would be, Bhalla said he plans to keep taxes stable and making good of his promise to be the “infrastructure mayor.”

“I want to make sure we focus on fiscal responsibility, keeping our tax levy stable. I also want to focus on infrastructure: making sure that mass transit, our streets and roads, water mains are in better order and quality of life,” expressed Bhalla, indicating he wanted to continue to develop open space as Zimmer did.

While Team Bhalla undeniably had a great night, also getting James Doyle (an incumbent) and Emily Jabbour (a newcomer) elected to the council, it wasn’t quite perfect as Vanessa Falco snagged the last council-at-large seat.

Falco, an unsuccessful former board of education candidate, ran with DeFusco.

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    • Hi Potential

      I have nothing to be ashamed of Mike won 2 wards and his slate mate Vanessa made history. The 1st African American elected to Hoboken’s city council. Your interest in me again and again is quite strange.
      If Mike’s name was not forged into that horrible flier there’s a strong likelihood Mike would have won.
      it’s a real shame you aren’t enjoying Ravi’s victory with class and grace, but continue to be nasty and classless.
      If your post is any indication of the next 4 years it seems like we are going to get a Trump like treatment from city hall by anonymous people like you. And oh, while you’re at it, why not throw in a few stature puns for an extra dose of nasty.

  1. Congratulations, on an earned win! No one worked harder than Team Bhalla. No one. They won this ON THE GROUND. Knocking on doors, talking and LISTENING. I honestly was surprised at the strength of Ravi’s support on my block (and the other terrace). An old lady on my street surprised me, she said “Of course I’m voting for Ravi… i met him, he is so nice and I think he’s terrific.” So there you go. That is why he won. Its not about money. Its about people. His campaign was top-notch, professional. A big debt of gratitude to the families of all the candidates. It’s a new day, what a relief.

    • Nasty, ugly words spewing from the deep sewer hostess known as Nancy Pincus
      Go back to your cave with Shadow puppet master Stan and your bonkers for Bhalla groupies.
      While you all scrub evidence of your hit pieces on DeFusco from your computers

      Bonkers for Bhalla

      Stop the Bhalla Bump outs

      Ravi goons Sihking revenge?

      • Roman Brice, a.k.a. “UgleeUvula”– you have hit a new low. I’ve been collecting filthy crumbs on your web site, truly defamatory false accusations, with evidence of substantial malice, saving for a rainy day.

        Tell me.Roman Brice, how did you obtain the very same images I did of the “Crime Family” flyer on your website-the images that Tony Soares claims are original files? Hmmmmm? And why is Tony Soares so quiet about that fact? Looks like YOU know where the files came from, since you PUBLISHED them.
        Both of you are treading on very, very thin ice.

  2. Lots of melting down and crying in the barn today. Hopefully that website goes the way of the other old garbage Hoboken alt-right site. No reason to ever go there again

  3. Interesting you are still talking about Tony.

    Maybe if someone didn’t FORGE Mike’s name on racist literature, you would be crying today- nice setup
    Based on Mike’s turnout, I would hire Mike’s team.

  4. An informal poll, yesterday, revealed, that the majority of West new york wants it’s village idiot–pablo fonseca–to come back home.

    Also: Many Cuban seniors want to know why he stole their votes by mail.

  5. Pablo ran a terrible, terrible campaign that resembled a campaign from the 1950’s. Stick failed to get his message out via social media and lost as a result. Pity the city that has Defusco as a runner-up. I wasn’t a Ravi supporter but I would move if Defusco ever became Mayor.
    I hope Ravi takes this opportunity to bring the citizens of Hoboken together and leads a process that begins to close the divide between old and new Hoboken. He needs to support ward candidates in the next election who represent all of our residents, not just new Hoboken. He lost a council seat because he followed the Zimmer pattern of excluding anyone on his ticket who had old Hoboken roots.
    As someone who claims to understand the pain of discrimination, he needs to understand that almost half of those who voted in the election have been left out by the Zimmer Administration. Ravi needs to do better. There is a sizeable population who have lived here long before Ravi moved in and they have been deliberately under-represented during the Zimmer years. Fair and equitable treatment of ALL Hoboken residents will be Ravi’s first big challenge. Let’s see how he handles it.

  6. If Ravi does want to heal reform he needs to reign in his lunatics like Nancy, Mark and Jake.
    The 24/7 attacks by that trio along with their pet “RudyDawg” constantly mock Giatinno,Fisher,DeFusco and Cunningham. Pret-TEEEEEE Pret-TEEEEEEEEEE STUPID.
    If someone could learn to really be a “NumbersCruncher” they should be able to add to 5, 6 and 7 and learn to wisen up fast because with just TWO allies on the City Council, Ravi can’t even buy toilet paper to wipe up the sh!t his internet bloggers freely dump on those VERRRRRRY much needed council members.
    Remember trying to paint Cunningham, Fisher and Giatinno as a Mason type will never work. Especially with so many Mason groupies with Bhalla now.

    Now more than ever Ravi needs Jen, Tiffanie, Peter and even Ruben.

    Bring the popcorn!

    • The election is over. You dont like a web site, dont read it. Its a free country and everybody has a right to express their POV. You sound very bitter. You also you are trying to bully and harass people by attacking them here by name into silence. The election didn’t go your way. So what. You sound like a very angry person and are projecting it on others.