Anjali Mehrotra, the president of the National Organization of Women for New Jersey and the Mountainside Demcoratic Municipal Chair, has announced her bid for State Assembly in the 21st district.
Mehrotra wants to take on Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz (R-Summit) and another Republican that has not yet been determined.
Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) will seek re-election, unless Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. decides not to run again. Then Bramnick will move up to the Senate.
Mehrotra said that her candidacy is based on “The American Dream.”
“Born and raised in India, I moved to New Jersey in search of higher education and stayed for the opportunities,” she said. “Sure, my husband and I both faced challenges as immigrants and persons of color, but through optimism and persistence, we were able to carve a piece of that dream for ourselves and our daughters.”
In her announcement, Mehrotra said the coronavirus pandemic has underscored disparities for New Jerseyans in health care, wealth and income, and food security, saying the coronavirus pandemic
“The events of last summer and the last couple of weeks have forced a moment of reckoning on our nation — who are we and who do we want to be?” Mehrotra asked. “As we come out of this pandemic, instead of going back to the same old tired ways of business as usual, we can choose to imagine and create a brave new world that is better equipped to meet the challenges that lie ahead.”
She said that the COVID-19 recover will necessitate “relief for our small businesses and jobs to grow our economy.”
“We need to build infrastructure that is reliable—our commuters deserve a better tunnel and transit system,” said Mehrotra. “We need to get guns and fear out of our schools and provide an education that will enable our next generation to meet the needs of the digital economy. And above all, we need tax fairness to ensure affordability; the status quo simply cannot continue.”
Mehrotra pushed back against what she anticipated as a campaign by Republicans to portray her “as a leftish Democrat.”
“It is their voting record that is out of touch with mainstream values in LD21. Cancer screenings and prenatal care for women are not controversial issues; removing the hurdles that make voting easier for New Jerseyans should not be partisan. Clean water and clean air for residents are not singularly progressive causes,” Mehrotra said. “Yet, under eight years of Governor Christie and since then, the incumbents have resisted all attempts to move New Jersey forward.”
This is Mehrotra’s second bid for public office. She ran a strong race for council in heavily-Republican Mountainside three years ago.