Edison Votes for the Future


Created by Mohita Ilamurugan

On Tuesday, November 2, Edison residents headed to the polls to vote in this year’s general election to decide both a new mayor for the township and a new governor for the state. As the results of both elections would have major implications for local policy, campaigning became intense in the weeks leading up to the election. 

The mayoral election was primarily contested between Democratic nominee Samip “Sam” Joshi and Republican nominee Keith Hahn. Joshi, an Edison Township councilman, called for the stabilization of property taxes and a revitalization of the township as his future vision, including the construction of a new high school on Kilmer Road. Hahn, a former member of the Edison Police Department, promised to be a full-time mayor and opposed growing development within the township.

Despite a hotly contested final campaign, including an investigation of Joshi’s uncle for stealing Hahn’s lawn signs, Joshi was elected Edison’s first South Asian mayor-elect, winning 10,930 votes over Hahn’s 9,459. He will be sworn in on January 1, 2022, replacing current mayor Thomas Lankey, who decided not to run for reelection despite his eligibility. 

Sam Joshi was elected Edison’s first South Asian mayor-elect

On the state scale, a tighter-than-anticipated race led to election night ending without a declared winner. Incumbent Democratic Governor Phillip Murphy ran for reelection against Republican challenger Jack Ciatarelli, a former congressman. 

“If you want to be governor of all of New Jersey, you must listen to all of New Jersey. And New Jersey, I hear you,” said Murphy, celebrating his victory in Asbury Park. Murphy clinched 51.1%, compared with 48.1% for Ciattarelli, of the total 2,596,835 votes.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Murphy employed health measures to limit the spread of the virus, and this became a battling point for the two sides. Due to the unpopularity of Murphy’s mask requirements in areas like schools, Ciattarelli sided with the majority with his opposition of this policy.

“Masks inhibit learning…an adverse effect on their [students’] intellectual and emotional development,” said Ciattarelli in a Toms River school board meeting.

Murphy’s work in the past, siding with a political shift to the left in New Jersey, included stricter restrictions on firearms, a higher minimum wage, and new taxes on millionaires.