A month after he lost his bid for mayor, Edison Democrats last night reelected Mahesh Bhagia chair of the local party.
Bhagia received 66 votes to 54 for Ajay Patil.
Patil had the backing of Sam Joshi, who defeated Bhagia in the June Democratic Primary.
Joshi prevailed in an acrimonious contest, one that left politics watchers anticipating more trouble for Democrats in the general election.
While Bhagia has not given his personal endorsement of Joshi, neither has he signaled that he intends to oppose him, and in his position as chairman of the Democratic Party, in fact, gives every indication of working for the line candidates, Joshi among them.
But Keith Hahn, the Republican nominee for mayor, sees fracture in the ranks.
“I think the message is crystal clear with Mr. Bhagia being re-elected as Chairman of the Edison Democratic Organization,” Hahn said in a statement. “Number one, Phil Murphy and Kevin McCabe will not be picking the next Mayor of Edison, the people of Edison will. Number two, it’s obvious the majority of the Committee People who know the facts best, did not believe all the allegations made during the nastiest primary in the history of Edison and that the damage caused is absolutely unrepairable.”