Sikh On Mayoral Slate In New Jersey

March 20, 2009

Author: Staff Writer

Source: SikhNN

Ravinder Singh Bhalla officially filed his candidacy yesterday to run on a mayoral slate for a seat on the Hoboken, N.J., city council.

Ravinder Singh began campaigning in January as an independent, but announced last week that he was joining the Dawn Zimmer mayoral campaign team as one of its three council-at-large candidates.

The move is expected to boost Ravinder Singh’s chances in the May 12 election. Voters traditionally focus on the mayoral candidate. If they vote for Zimmer then they are likely to also vote for the rest of the slate.

“He is an excellent candidate,” Zimmer said by phone. “He has a master’s (degree) in economics and a law degree, and he has a commitment to the community.” She recounted how he fought the city four years ago when it wanted to borrow money. He previously worked as a contracted attorney for the city.

“Voters are responding positively,” Zimmer said. “He is out in the community helping with various issues.”

No one has asked anything about Ravinder Singh’s turban, beard or faith, Zimmer said. The slate has been campaigning together for about a week.

The election could result in some important firsts: Zimmer could the first woman and the first Jewish mayor of Hoboken, and Ravinder Singh could hold the highest elected office in the country as a Sikh.

“I’m looking forward to make a small part of Sikh history in America,” Ravinder Singh said.

See also: Sikhism, Civic