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Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla. {Photo: Nikita Biryukov for the New Jersey Globe.)

Latina group hits Bhalla over reported attempt to oust Chaparro

Chaparro has mayor’s ‘full and unequivocal support’

By Nikita Biryukov, May 01 2019 8:19 pm

Latinas United for Political Empowerment PAC took aim at Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla Wednesday over reports that he attempted to oust Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro (D-Hoboken) with a non-Latina candidate.

“With Latina representation still severely lacking in our State Legislature, it is extremely disappointing that Mayor Ravi Bhalla is attempting to replace a sitting Latina legislator with a non-Latina candidate,” LUPEPAC President Patricia Campos-Medina said. “Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro has represented her constituents, the residents of one of the most heavily Hispanic districts in the state, with integrity and intelligence.”

Politifax New Jersey, an electronic newsletter, reported that Bhalla asked State Sen. and Union City Mayor Brian Stack, who is something of a power broker in the 33rd legislative district, if he could replace Chaparro.

Bhalla was reportedly told he could, but only with a Latina.

Chaparro is running for re-election unopposed in her primary, so clearly, a switch was never made.

While Bhalla lauded Chaparro and pledged to support her bid for a third term, he stopped short of denying an attempt to oust the assemblywoman, who works as a clerk in Hoboken.

“Assemblywoman Chaparro is an incredible asset to our city, and she has my full and unequivocal support for re-election,” Bhalla said. “We did explore her candidacy to run for City Council against Mike DeFusco, who has been a detriment to the 1st Ward and our city. I am Proud of my track record of elevating Latina Women to executive roles in my administration. To reiterate, she is and will continue to be a valued member of my Hoboken team.”

DeFusco and Bhalla have been at each other’s throats in one way or another since Bhalla defeated the councilman in the city’s 2017 mayoral race.

In January, Chaparro told the New Jersey Globe she was not ready to announce a re-election bid, citing the distance of election day.

“Check with me in a few weeks. We’ll see what happens,” Chaparro said at the time.

She told the New Jersey Globe in February that she’d run for re-election. It’s possible the Chaparro wasn’t sure she’d run for Assembly because she was considering a run at Hoboken City Council, but it’s unclear whether that was the case.

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One thought on “Latina group hits Bhalla over reported attempt to oust Chaparro

  1. Which Latinas has Ravi Bhalla elevated? Was it Dawn Zimmer, Carol Marsh, Dave Mello, Jim Doyle, Emily Jabbour, Tiffanie Fischer, Jen Giattino, Dana Wefer, Kurt Gardner, Phil Cohen, Peter Cunningham, Eric Kurta, Greg Lincoln, John Allen, Tom Greaney, and Michael Lenz? Or are they all white? EVERY candidate he has ever run with or supported for Council, Mayor, or Freeholder. Even for Assembly, he tried running in a primary himself rather than support the incumbent Latino from Hoboken, Ruben Ramos, in 2011. Maybe he meant his staff, with Vijay Chaudhuri, who is Indian, and John Allen and Jason Freeman, who are white? Or maybe he was just confused from when he and Vijay were literally at the head (campaign manager and public endorsement event) of Joe Crowley’s campaign against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? Since he was actively bashing millennials, he might have forgotten he was once again trampling on a Latina as well.


    But the most important fact is that Ravi Bhalla tried to force a sitting Assemblywoman who was there before he became Mayor to resign that seat in order to run for a Ward Council seat as part of his own political agenda. If she won, she also would have had to resign her longtime job at Hoboken City Hall. For him to even pretend that she was a willing participant in that conversation is ludicrous. Please don’t let him get away with this lie, or he’ll continue these exact same actions. Ravi Bhalla needs to be fully and unequivocally removed from public office, because he has never served anything but his own private interests.

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