One day after being named the president of the Jersey City Board of Education, Sudhan Thomas opened a new account with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, prompting one critic to question his political ambitions.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
According to an online filing with NJ ELEC on January 10th, Thomas opened an account that lists “council or municipal office” under office sought.
While the election date is listed in the filing is June 6th, 2017, 8 months after he was elected to the BOE and 41 months before the Jersey City 2021 municipal elections, at least one person is convinced his intentions are clear.
“ … We saw Mussab Ali, the first Muslim and the youngest member ever elected to the board of education. We saw the historic elections of Sudhan Thomas and Lorenzo Richardson as president and vice president,” Yousef Saleh, who unsuccessfully ran for BOE in November, said at Thursday’s meeting.
“But I am dismayed to stand before you tonight and say that Sudhan Thomas, I respect you and I love you, but you filed to run for city council and we don’t need a part-time president. We need a president who is engaged.”
Saleh, who ran as an independent, also took exception to the fact that Thomas opened the account less than 24 hours after he was elected board president on January 9th.
“We already have a part-time president in Washington, we need you engaged,” he reiterated.
Thomas denied that he is mulling a council run for 2021 and that he hasn’t thought about if he will seek re-election to the board next year, further stating the account was opened to pay for expenses from his run for the Jersey City Democratic Organization last June.
He explained that he did a mailer for Column E, all the candidates on the Hudson County Democratic Organization line, and that he therefore owed $2,700 to Royal Printing.
Previous filings for his BOE account show that Royal Printing was his printer of choice for political literature.
“My bank was closed so I had to open a new bank account to make a payment to Royal Printing,” he added.
This isn’t the first time the trustee, who was endorsed by the Jersey City Education Association in 2016, has faced scrutiny over his campaign filings.
Late last summer, The Jersey Journal reported that two law firms filed lawsuits alleging that Thomas owed them $25,000 in unpaid legal bills.
On the October 6th edition of Hudson County Review Live, Thomas denied having any issues with his ELEC filings, also shooting down rumblings he had been considering a council run for November, calling that notion “fake news.”