A rebel slate headed by a member of the scandal-tarred Edison Eight has filed candidates for the legislature and for three county offices, further complicating a hugely messy local Democratic race for mayor.
Mohin Patel, an Edison school board member connected to an investigation into a racist flyer during the 2017 campaign, is challenging State Sen. Patrick Diegan (D-South Plainfield) in the Democratic primary.
He is a political ally of Edison Democratic Municipal Chairman Mahesh Bhagia, the alleged ringleader of the racist flyer and a candidate for mayor.
Five other candidates aligned with Patel are challenging the Middlesex organization candidates: Bruce Seitz will challenge the new Surrogate, Claribel Cortes; Venna Sinha and David Ye are taking on incumbent county commissioners Ronald Rios and Shanti Narra; and Lisa Salem and Maurice Alfaro, Sr. are running for Assembly in the 18th district against incumbents Robert Karabinchak (D-Edison) and Sterley Staley (D-East Brunswick).
Piscataway Councilwoman Chanelle McCullum is unopposed in her bid for an unexpired term on the Middlesex County Board of Commissioners. She is seeking the seat left vacant on March 29 following the unexpected death of Kenneth Armwood.
Incumbent Mayor Thomas Lankey did not file to run in the Demcoratic primary. There is speculation that he will seek re-election as an independent in November.
Councilman Sammy Joshi and Al Esposito are seeking the Democratic mayoral nomination.
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