Alleged sign-stealing in New Jersey politics usually doesn’t warrant much press attention. But it also usually doesn’t show up on camera, and in this case implicate at least an ally of the Democratic candidate for mayor in Edison, who’s also on scene.
Republican mayoral contender Keith Hahn posted a video on his Facebook page, which appears to show an ally of Sam Joshi removing Hahn signs from the back of his trunk and giving them to local police. Joshi also appears in the video talking to police, who appear to prevail on the Joshi ally to return the evidently stolen signs.
The mayoral candidate’s precise role is unclear, but the police are talking to him (see below).
Based on his knowledge of what happened, Hahn said he holds Joshi responsible.
The Republican candidate for mayor posted a caption on the video:
“Sam Joshi caught red handed as the Edison Police remove the stolen signs from the trunk of his campaign vehicle. Edison deserves better!”
Hahn told InsiderNJ that police are currently investigating the incident.
“I anticipate criminal charges will be filed and and a statement from the Middlesex County Prosecutors Office will follow, similar to what we saw today in Monroe,” Hahn told InsiderNJ. “With the many difficult issues facing one of New Jersey largest towns the residents of Edison deserve a mature, responsible and ethical Mayor. Joshi’s actions today should be a disqualifier.”
Joshi did not immediately respond to a query for his comment on the matter.
The Democrat won his party primary in June after defeating Mahesh Bhagia. The local party chairman, Bhagia had originally occupied the Democratic Party line, until the Middlesex County Democratic Organization moved on him and replaced him with county party ally Joshi.
Governor Phil Murphy campaigned for Joshi in the lead-up to the primary.
A retired Edison police officer, Hahn ironically also occupied the chairmanship of the Edison Democratic Party before changing parties and becoming a Republican.
Hahn faces an uphill battle against Joshi in a county where the county party organization has stronger ties to Murphy’s reelection campaign than in some other Democratic counties, most of them located in South Jersey.
The raw party registration numbers in Edison are as follows: 29,484 Democrats, 7,972 Republicans, and 22,728 unaffiliated voters.