As expected, Democratic Municipal Chairman Mahesh Bhagia captured the endorsement of his local Democratic county committee for as a candidate for mayor.
The Democratic incumbent, Thomas Lankey, and Councilman Sammy Joshi, did not compete at the party’s convention on Wednesday evening.
Lankey has kept the door open to either running in the Democratic primary or seeking re-election in November as an independent.
Bhagia has close ties to the Edison Eight, a group implicated last year in a conspiracy scandal involving an allegedly fake racist flyer aimed at inciting the township’s Asian American community in a 2017 school board race. His brother, Raj Bhagia, is one of the Edison Eight.
The Edison Eight: Councilman Ayjay Patil; Board of Education President Jerry Shi; Wilentz law firm partner and Biden delegate Satish Poondi; former Democratic Municipal Chairman Shariq Ahmad; apparent school board member-elect Mohin Patel; Aloysius Dsouza; Joseph Dsouza; Bhagia and Shi – face a possible criminal investigation after they allegedly circulated a racist mailer.
The mailer – “Make Edison Great Again” – urged voters to “Stop Jerry Shi and Falguni Patel from taking over our school board.”
“The Chinese and Indians are taking over our Town! Chinese School! Indian School! Cricket Fields,” the flyer said. “Enough is Enough.”