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U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Menendez endorses Joshi for Edison mayor

One of the most powerful members of the United States Senate takes sides in Democratic mayoral primary

By David Wildstein, April 08 2021 12:17 pm

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez had endorsed Sam Joshi for the Democratic nomination for mayor of Edison, New Jersey’s fifth-largest municipality.

“I am proud to be endorsing Sam Joshi in the Edison mayoral primary,” said Menendez, the state’s senior U.S. Senator.  “As a former mayor, I know how tough the job is and what it is like to have people counting on you. Sam believes that government is about lifting people up and giving everyone a fair shot at success. “

Joshi, a 31-year-old councilman, secured the endorsement of the Middlesex County Demcoratic organization on Wednesday in his campaign for mayor against Mahesh Bhagia, the embattled Edison Democratic municipal chairman.

Menendez joins Gov. Phil Murphy, Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-Long Branch), Middlesex County Democratic Chairman Kevin McCabe and others in backing Joshi in the June 8 Democratic primary.

“As Mayor, he will be a dedicated public servant, making Edison Township government work for every member of his community,” said Menendez, who began his own political career as a school board member and mayor in Union City.  “I look forward to helping elect Sam, his council slate, and the entire Middlesex County Democratic Organization slate in June and November.”

Bhagia had secured the endorsement of the local Democratic party he leads, but Joshi received the organization line after McCabe and other party officials became concerned over Bhagia’s alleged role in a 2017 racist flyer.   One councilman has implicated Bhagia as the alleged ringleader and Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has now empaneled a grand jury to probe the event.

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