Racist flyers on mayoral candidate turn up in Hoboken

Posted: Updated:

Hoboken police released surveillance video Monday of two men distributing flyers that made incendiary racial remarks about one of the city’s mayoral candidates. 

The flyers centered on candidate Ravi Bhalla and were placed on windshields of cars Friday night and Saturday morning in random neighborhoods of the city.

The flyer reads, "Don't let terrorism take over our town," accompanied by a photo of Bhalla wearing his turban, which he wears in order to follow his religion as a Sikh.

Hoboken police say that they do not believe that the men seen in the video created the flyers, but were hired to distribute them. Police are looking to speak to the men to find out how they received the flyers.

Anyone who recognizes either person is being asked to contact the police department at 201-420-2131 or 201-420-2106.

The corner of the flyer noted that it was paid for by Team DeFusco, regarding candidate Michael DeFusco. Authorities said DeFusco’s campaign was the first to bring the flyers to their attention. He adamantly denied any connection to them, condemning them as "racist garbage."

Bhalla said the flyers are upsetting, but said he does not want the racist comment to paint all of Hoboken in a negative light. 

"It's not what Hoboken is about," he said. "We are a very welcoming and diverse community. I wouldn't be elected twice as a councilman if we weren't, so this unfortunate incident is definitely not reflective of our community." 

Bhalla has served as a Hoboken councilman for eight years and has been endorsed by outgoing Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

Police are investigating the matter as a bias incident.

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