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Former Republican congressional candidate Agha Khan. (Photo: Agha Khan).

Agha Khan, Republican who challenged Sires, Payne, dies at 73

Pakistani immigrant also took on DeGise, Stack as standard bearer in uphill races

By David Wildstein, July 01 2022 1:55 pm

Agha M. Khan, a Jersey City Republican who ran for office five times without success between 2007 and 2021, died on June 30.  He was 73.

Khan ran for Hudson County Executive in 2007 and won 12% against County Executive Tom DeGise.  He challenged Surrogate Don DiLeo in 2009 and won 22%.

In 2016, Khan became a candidate for Congress in New Jersey’s 8th district, winning 18.5% against Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York).  He took on Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-Newark) in 2018 and received 10% of the vote.

Khan’s final campaign came in 2021 when he became the Republican nominee for State Senate in the 33rd district.  Incumbent Brian P. Stack defeated him by an 85%-15% margin.

“Agha Khan fought the good fight, taking on difficult races on behalf of his party,” said Al Barlas, the Essex County GOP chairman.  “He believed, like we all do, that voters deserve a choice at the ballot box.”

Jose Arango, the longtime Hudson County Republican chairman, called Khan “a dear friend.”

Khan emigrated from Pakistan in the 1970s and worked in real estate.  He was an honorary Deputy Mayor of Jersey City from 2002 to 2004 under Mayor Glenn Cunningham, the co-vice chairman of the Hudson County Republican Party, and was a commissioner of the Jersey City Development Corporation from 2001 of 2007.  He served as New Jersey president of the American Muslim Foundation.

He is survived by his wife and daughter.

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