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Sam Joshi in his first campaign video in his bid for mayor of Edison in April 2021. (Photo: YouTube/NJ Globe.)

AFSCME backs Joshi for mayor

By Joey Fox, October 04 2021 4:11 pm

Edison Councilman Sam Joshi’s bid for mayor was endorsed today by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) NJ Council 63, a union representing 20,000 government workers statewide.

“We are proud to endorse Councilman Joshi,” said Steve Tully, AFSCME NJ’s executive director, in a statement. “The councilman has served the community efficiently and effectively [and] will show up every day to put his best foot forward, just like our members who live and work in Edison do.”

Edison won a contentious primary against Democratic municipal chairman Mahesh Bhagia in June, and now faces Republican Keith Hahn in the November general election. Bhagia, despite his role as chair of the local Democratic Party, has not endorsed in the race. 

While Edison is for the most part a solidly Democratic township, backing Joe Biden for president 61-37%, its local politics can be more competitive. Hahn, a retired police officer and former Democrat, garnered 41% of the vote for mayor against now-retiring incumbent Democrat Thomas Lankey in 2017, and several Democratic committee members have endorsed him over Joshi this time around.

For his part, Lankey originally planned to run for re-election as an independent, but dropped out and endorsed Joshi in August.

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