Indian American attorney set to run for Mayor of Edison, New Jersey


An Indian American attorney has announced her intention to run for Mayor of Edison in New Jersey.

Sapana Shah is poised to run as the most experienced Democrat in this year’s race to lead New Jersey’s fifth-largest community.

“I am ready to rise to this challenge,” said Shah, a former Edison Township Council and Board of Education member.

“My priorities as mayor will be to enacting efficient ways to stabilize taxes, improve quality-of-life and attract new commercial investments that create more jobs and generate more tax revenue without burdening our municipal services.”

“My legal experience, business management and leadership skills make me the best-qualified candidate to help my hometown become a stronger, more prosperous place for people to live, raise families and work,” Shah said.

Shah is one of three candidates seeking the Edison Democratic party nomination at its Feb. 24 virtual convention, an endorsement that would put her June Primary ballot. Shah also made a direct appeal for grassroots support to nearly 18,000 registered Democrats. “I want Democratic voters to know they have an experienced choice for mayor who will champion their best interests.”

Earlier this week, Councilman Sam Joshi withdrew from the contest. Still seeking the Democratic nomination are Councilman Richard Brescher, in office for 14 months, and Mahesh Bhagia, the local Democratic chairman since June. Bhagia has never held elected office.

Shah said: “As a council and school board member, I voted my conscience. I opposed unreasonable tax increases; led the fight to protect homeowners from serial home invasions; tried to safeguard our residents from prejudicial Trump-era anti-immigrant policies; and make our public schools safer for children and affordable for parents,”

“Edison’s ethnic and cultural diversity make this a wonderful community,” said Shah, noting that nearly half of its 102,000 residents are Asian and Asian-Indian. “I will be a mayor who can bridge the cultural divide; who understands and will serve the needs of all residents. I will do it with professionalism and honor.”

Shah is an attorney in private practice. She also serves as part-time Assistant Corporation Counsel for Jersey City, providing legal advice and drafting ordinances and resolutions for city officials.

Shah’s family moved to Edison in 1984 from Chicago, when she was a child. Educated in the local public school district and 1994 alumni of J.P. Stevens High School, Shah earned an Economics degree from Rutgers University; a Law degree from Albany Law School–Union University; and she worked as a financial analyst for Dun & Bradstreet before law school.