Former Councilwoman Sapana Shah wants Middlesex County Democratic Chairman Kevin McCabe to “do the right thing” and remove Edison mayoral nominee Mahesh Bhagia from the county Democratic ballot line to allow an “open primary” in June.
“In light of recent information, reported in the media, that allegedly connects Mr. Bhagia to a disgraceful 2017 racist flier, I respectfully request that Chairman McCabe exercise his authority to invalidate the Edison Democratic Committee’s Feb. 24th mayoral endorsement for Mr. Bhagia,” Shah said. “I believe this is the right thing and most ethical thing to do.
“Although these allegations are yet unproven, the appearance of unethical conduct or potentially illegal behavior sufficiently taints Mr. Bhagia’s candidacy,” added Shah, an attorney who also sought the Edison Democratic Committee’s mayoral nomination. “To list him on the MCDO’s ballot line may potentially sully the integrity of other Democratic candidates running in the Primary.”
Shah suggests McCabe allow an “open primary” in June, allowing all registered Democrats in Edison to choose their mayoral candidate for the November general election.
Shah seeks support for her request from Mayor Thomas Lankey; mayoral candidates Councilmen Sam Joshi and Richard Brescher; and Council President Robert Diehl, now spearheading an Edison Council ‘Committee of the Whole’ inquiry to identify the perpetrators behind racist flier.
Shah, who previously served on the Edison Council and Board of Education, said: “I believe Democrats should be confident that the candidates they nominate are free and clear of any possible improprieties. Our party and, more importantly, the voters deserve that assurance.”