South Asian event hosted for Middlesex County, N.J. candidates

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NJ Senator Vin Gopal gesturing while speaking at an event in September 2020. Photo: Facebook@senatorgopal

New Jersey State Senator Vin Gopal of Monmouth County, and Middlesex County Chairman Kevin P. McCabe hosted a virtual event March 23, 2021, to raise money for the Democratic Middlesex County ticket of Commissioner Shanti Narra as well as County Surrogate candidate Claribel Cortes, and Commissioner Director Ron Rios.

The event drew more than 120 participants and feted Narra who is the first South Asian county-wide elected official in the history of New Jersey, noted the press release from Senator Gopal.

Several leaders of the South Asian community attended the event including Assembly Judiciary Committee Chair Raj Mukherji (D-Jersey City), Assemblyman Sterley Stanley (D-East Brunswick), Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, Board of Public Utilities Commissioner Upendra Chivukula, Prospect Park Mayor Mohammad Khairullah, and Burlington County Commissioner Balvir Singh.

“We can never stop in our relentless pursuit to build a better New Jersey for every community,” Senator Gopal who represents the 11th legislative district in Monmouth County.  “As elected officials, our voices are amplified with the ability and responsibility to take a stand for what we believe is right. , is quoted saying in the press release.

“Surrogate candidate Claribel Cortes, Commissioner Director Rios, and Commissioner Narra will continue to do that,” Gopal added.

“Middlesex County has continually pushed to be a leader in ensuring our residents are represented by public servants who reflect the communities they serve,” said McCabe. “In light of the divisions that have emanated from Washington for the last four years, our county candidates are committed to building an equitable and fair county government for every single one of our residents.”

“We have no room for the hate and violence that has been allowed to permeate across our nation,” said Narra. “Middlesex County has worked tirelessly to uplift members of our community who have been previously excluded from the democratic process. As a member of the AAPI community, I am proud to be a leader and advocate for the people of Middlesex County.”

“As a Councilwoman in North Brunswick, I am proud of the work done in collaboration with the County, and I am excited to continue working with the County in my new role as County Surrogate,” said Cortes. She added that the County government has worked closely with our local communities and their leaders to ensure that we will be a model for representative, fiscally responsible government in the state of New Jersey.”

New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. said he believes the democratic organization has led the way in advocating for communities that have traditionally been underrepresented. “Whether it is electing women to every single constitutional row office in the county, ensuring that the South Asian community is represented on the Board of Commissioners or guaranteeing that men and women of color serve at all levels of county government, the MCDO has demonstrated a commitment to diversity that is representative of our county and our state,” he added.

“Our Board of County Commissioners has remained committed to serving the people of Middlesex County and our ability to be a model in how we were able to respond during the early days of the pandemic is a perfect example,” said Rios. “This ticket will continue that dedication to our residents.”

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