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New Jersey Elects First Sikh Mayor Days After Islamophobic Fliers Circulate Against Him

New Jersey
Photo via @raviforhoboken

Ravi Bhalla won the mayoral race in Hoboken, NJ. 

Across the river, New Jersey voters took out the trash last night and ushered in a new era of progress. Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who has approval ratings on par with that steamy pile of poop you saw in Midtown over the summer, left office after serving the maximum amount of terms, ending his long, strange, and hated tenure as the leader of the state.

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In his place, Democratic challenger Phil Murphy won a decisive victory over Republican Kim Guadagno, who had been Christie's lieutenant governor and would've been his GOP successor. If there were any doubt about how unpopular Christie had become, exit polls cleared the air: Nearly eight in 10 voters said they disapproved of Christie's performance as governor, according to NBC News.

The Democratic victories weren't limited to the governor's race, though. In Hoboken, voters made history by electing N.J. City Councilman Ravi Bhalla as the city's mayor, making him the first Sikh mayor in New Jersey history. In the days leading up to the election, controversy erupted when doctored campaign flyers began to circulate attacking Bhalla with the message "Don't let TERRORISM take over our town!" above a picture of the Sikh mayoral candidate wearing a turban.

Clearly, voters weren't down with the hate speech, as he won in a crowded six-person race. In his victory speech, Bhalla said: "Thank you for having faith in me, for having faith in our community, faith in our state, and faith in our country; this is what America is all about."

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