Don Hansen, a Democratic committeeman who managed Jun Choi’s campaign for mayor of Edison in 2005, has endorsed Republican Keith Hahn in the upcoming mayoral election.
Hahn and his council slate also won the endorsement of the Edison Police Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 101.
“We have observed the care they they have projected getting Edison back on track as it was many years ago when the mayor and council actually cared for the taxpayers well-being,” said Joseph Esposito, the lodge president. “We feel Keith has shown his ability to go out and speak for the concerns of those who asked for it after getting no help from the township.”
Hahn, a retired police officer and Democratic municipal chairman, is making his second bid for mayor as a Republican. He faces Sam Joshi, a councilman who won a contentious Democratic primary last June.
Under Hansen’s leadership, Choi ousted three-term incumbent George Spadoro in the 2005 Democratic primary by 12 percentage points. In the general election, Choi defeated Republican Bill Stephens by just 270 votes.
After Thomas Paterniti announced he wouldn’t run for Democratic municipal chairman in 2015 after 31 years in the post, Hansen considered seeking the post himself. Instead, the job went to Hahn, who had twice challenged Paterniti for the party leadership position.
Hahn has also secured endorsements from other Democratic county committee members, including Fred Lacik, Vasant Naik and Dave Tingle.
The current Edison Democratic municipal chairman, Mahesh Bhagia, has not yet endorsed anyone in the mayoral contest. Joshi defeated Bhagia in the primary by 29 points after securing the Middlesex County Democratic organization line.