EDISON – A week ago Mahesh Bhagia found himself separated from the Democratic Party line and subsequently assailed by a blizzard of endorsements from members of the party establishment. He maintains that the bosses in these parts, who have tentacles all the way up to the governor’s office, fear the independence he will bring to the position of mayor, and enlisted their pals to make him look bad.
He said he thinks they overreached.
“A dark day in the history of Edison,” said Bhagia, referring to Middlesex County Democratic Committee Chairman Kevin McCabe’s decision to bigfoot him. “This is the worst day for the democracy. That is why we are fighting for transparent government.”
If and when he gets to Town Hall, Bhagia – a local businessman in the hotel industry – will look to relieve some of the vendors connected to the power structure, and they know that, and so have concocted a story to get rid of him (you can hear him talk about it below).
“We want vendors in this town to look out for the people of this town,” Bhagia said. “A lot of contracts have been given out this year alone – almost $1.2 million – without competitive bidding.”
This evening, InsiderNJ caught up with the suddenly upstart mayoral candidate, chair of the local Democratic Party, who now faces longtime archrival Council Vice President Sam Joshi in the Democratic Primary. Denouncing an infamous 2017 racist campaign flyer, which prompted Joshi and to form an investigating committee, Bhagia said, “It’s time for Mayor Lankey, Sam Joshi, Alvaro Gomez and Bob Diehl, who benefited from this flyer, to come out and testify. [Attorney] Bill Northgrave wrote a letter to Sam Joshi in 2019 to say they have no power to investigate this. It’s time for them to testify.”
Coming off a day of banging on doors with his team, Bhagia said he plans to win off the line.
“We strongly believe we are the real members of the community,” said the candidate. “We got elected by the Democratic Committee members. We got nominated through the Democratic process. I hope the people of Edison see though this and come out and support our team. We are the real Democratic team elected by them. I will be the fulltime mayor.”