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U.S. Sen. Cory Booker. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

In Edison, Booker endorses Joshi for mayor

Massive show of strength by New Jersey Democrats in support of Edison mayoral candidates

By David Wildstein, April 08 2021 5:25 pm

U.S. Senator Cory Booker has endorsed Sam Joshi for mayor of Edison, giving the 31-year-old councilman the support of two United States Senators, the governor of New Jersey, the Senate President and Assembly Speaker, one of the most powerful members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Middlesex County Democratic Chairman in just the last 24 hours.

“Sam Joshi will be a great mayor for Edison because he understands what leadership is all about: treating people with respect and compassion, and bringing people together to unite around a common purpose in pursuit of a better future for everyone,” said Booker.

Booker joins the state’s most influential Democrats – Bob Menendez, Phil Murphy, Steve Sweeney, Craig Coughlin, Frank Pallone and Kevin McCabe – in backing Joshi’s bid to become mayor of the state’s fifth largest municipality.

The star power of the endorsements potentially nullifies any claim of party support by Mahesh Bhagia, the embattled Edison Democratic municipal chairman, to the mayoral nomination.

Bhagia has been accused of being one of the masterminds behind a racist flyer circulated just before the 2017 election, and Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has now empaneled a grand jury and subpoenaed documents related to a municipal probe of the incident.

The Edison mailer promised to “Make Edison Great Again,” by telling voters that the “Chinese and Indians are taking over our town.”  It targeted school board candidates of Chinese and Indian descent, with the word “deported” stamped over their photos.

As one of the embattled Edison Eight a U.S. Postal Inspector has allegedly involved in the scandal, Bhagia has watched some of his party support rapidly erode after Grewal decided he’d try to crack the 42-month-old cold case.

“I am proud to endorse Sam Joshi for mayor and offer my full support to him, his slate of council candidates, and the entire Middlesex County Democratic Organization team,” Booker.

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