New Jersey Town Swears in State’s First Sikh Mayor

HOBOKEN, N.J. (AP) -
Ravinder S. Bhalla is sworn in Monday as Hoboken’s new mayor. (Michael Dempsey/The Jersey Journal via AP)

New Jersey’s first Sikh mayor took office Monday. Ravi Bhalla, a former City Council member, was sworn in as Hoboken’s new leader, replacing Dawn Zimmer, who decided not to seek a third term in office.

Zimmer had endorsed Bhalla in the November election, when he beat five other candidates for the job.

That campaign became heated in the closing days when doctored racist campaign fliers began circulating anonymously. The fliers had the words “Don’t let TERRORISM take over our town!” posted above a picture of Bhalla, wearing a turban.

The 43-year-old new mayor, an Indian-American born in New Jersey, has said he plans on prioritizing infrastructure, commuting and open space.