Hoboken City Councilman Ravi Bhalla said he intends to stay in the race for State Assembly in the 33rd Legislative District, with the full support of Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer.
Zapped with a successful challenge, Hudson County Democratic Organization candidate Carmelo Garcia is appealing a judge’s decision that as an employee of the federally funded Hoboken Housing Authority he can’t hold office in the General Assembly.
In the meantime, Bhalla wants the 33rd District Assembly seat.
“I have spent the last three weeks engaging residents of the 33rd District in conversations about the issues that concern them, and look forward to continuing those conversations throughout the campaign.” Bhalla said.
He’s an ally of Zimmer’s, who a source told PolitickerNJ.com was peeved that she couldn’t select her own Assembly candidate to add to the ticket of state Sen. Brian Stack (D-33), who picked the embattled Garcia.
“Whether it’s cutting taxes, saving the hospital or making sure Hoboken is protected from the next superstorm, it’s important that I have a partner in Trenton who will work with me to achieve my goals in Hoboken,” Zimmer said of her ally. “Ravi has been my partner making positive change in Hoboken and will be that partner in Trenton. The residents of the 33rd District, those in Hoboken as well as those in Jersey City, Union City and Weehawken, are entitled to the kind of stellar representation that Ravi has provided to Hoboken. His candidacy has my enthusiastic support and I look forward to joining him on the campaign trail in the coming weeks.”
A loser in 2011 when he opposed Assemblyman Ruben Ramos (who’s now running for mayor against Zimmer), Bhalla said he has budgeted approximately $250,000 for his campaign and is prepared for a highly competitive race among the five eligible candidates for the two Assembly positions.
Next week, the councilman said he intends to open campaign offices in the 33rd Legislative District and announce the hiring of a full staff of campaign professionals.