Asian American Candidates Targeted by Racist Campaign Mailers Win School Board Election

Edison public school board candidates (from left to right) Jerry Shi, Beth Moroney, Falguni Patel, and Paul Distefano. (Photo credit: News India Times)

In a repudiation of racist campaign mailers sent to the residents of Edison, New Jersey, the school board candidates targeted by the flyers have won their races for the Edison public school board.

Incumbent Jerry Shi and newcomer Falguni Patel were elected to the Edison public school board along with the other members of their slate of candidates: incumbents Beth Moroney and Paul Distefano (who was running in a separate race for a one-year term on the school board).

Furthermore, both Shi and Patel received the highest vote totals in the race. Both candidates earned a couple hundred more votes than Moroney, and more than a thousand more votes than the candidate with the next highest vote total.

An uncredited mailer sent to residents of Edison, New Jersey. (Photo credit:

Shi and Patel’s victories are part of the larger story of Election Night 2017, which marked a nationwide rejection of Trump era race-baiting and alt-right culture wars conservativism. Not only did Edison voters turn out for Shi and Patel as if to send a stark message against the anti-Asian hate of last week’s racist mailers, but Democrats won big in several other races across the country including in traditionally Republican strongholds.

Elsewhere in New Jersey, Sikh American Ravi Bhalla — who was also the target of racist flyers that called him a terroristwon his election in Hoboken to become the state’s first Sikh mayor.

The identities of those responsible for the racist campaign mailers in Edison are still unknown, and the mailers are likely to constitute a violation of election rules. 18MillionRising has launched a campaign to demand that election officials in New Jersey launch an investigation into the campaign mailers.

Read More: Anti-Asian Hate Is Not Welcome in Politics

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