Hoboken Councilman Ravi Bhalla won’t run for an LD 33 Assembly seat, according to an email he sent to supporters this afternoon.
“Effective immediately, I am no longer seeking the Democratic Party nomination for Member of the General Assembly,” Bhalla wrote. “My decision is driven by yesterday’s refusal by the New Jersey Supreme Court to consider a challenge to Hoboken Housing Authority (HHA) Director Carmelo Garcia’s candidacy to serve in the State Assembly, while simultaneously serving as Executive Director of the HHA. As a result, it is not prudent to expend substantial resources in continuing my candidacy now.”
Bhalla was disappointed.
“At a minimum, Director Garcia’s candidacy is a blatant violation of the spirit of both federal and state laws intended to address the kind of conflict of interest represented by Mr. Garcia’s candidacy,” the councilman said. “The residents of the HHA are completely dependent on the federal program administered by Mr. Garcia, leaving them particularly vulnerable to the consequences of the conflict of interest created by Mr. Garcia’s candidacy, and ultimately his dual office holding since Mr. Garcia has stated that he intends to retain both positions.”