EDISON – Three candidates will vie for the four-year mayoral seat available in the upcoming election.
The candidates include Democratic candidate Samip “Sam” Joshi, Republican candidate Keith Hahn and candidate Christo Makropoulos, who is running on the Protect the Children ticket.
The general election is on Nov. 2.
In August, current Mayor Thomas Lankey notified the Middlesex County Clerk that he would not be seeking re-election as an independent candidate for mayor this November. Lankey is currently serving his second term as a Democrat.
Keith Hahn, 50, has lived in Edison for 48 years. He is married to Liz and has two children: a daughter, 13, and a son, 10.
He attended Middlesex County College and Middlesex County Police Academy. He is a retired police detective with the Edison Police Department after serving 25-and-a-half years.
In the community, Hahn is the former chairman of the Edison Democratic Organization, former president of PBA 75 and state delegate for Edison PBA 75; and was appointed to the Edison Water Advisory Board and Edison Planning Board by Lankey. He also serves as coach for youth basketball and baseball.
Hahn is seeking his first term.
“As the former chairman of the Edison Democratic Organization, I have seen firsthand how the dirty politics and infighting have divided our township and ultimately the residents pay the price,” he said. “Our schools are overcrowded, we lack full-day kindergarten, we have no recreation center for our children in South Edison, overdevelopment is rampant and our elected officials just don’t seem to care. I believe by uniting our community for the good of everyone and not just a selected few we can fix these problems.”
Hahn noted the Suez referendum in 2019 as a perfect example of “what we can accomplish when working together” when residents “stopped our elected officials from selling our water and sewer to a billion dollar corporation that would have cost the taxpayers over $850 million.”
As a retired detective who spent the majority of his career working with juveniles, Hahn believes “we have to do a better job of providing our children with the facilities and resources to keep busy in a productive manner.
“We also need to pay more attention to our seniors and help keep them in their homes,” he said.” As everyone who decides to move brings new children to our already overcrowded schools. Our roads and infrastructure are in need of repair and our elected officials do not manage your tax dollars responsibly. Unlike my opponent who will have spent almost $1 million on this year’s election, collected mostly from party bosses and special interest groups, I will be in a unique position to do what’s best for the residents without influence from party bosses or special interests groups.”
Christo Makropoulos, 33, is a lifelong resident of Edison.
Makropoulos is a high school graduate. He is a correspondent and investigative journalist for New Jersey Corruption Watch.
In the community, Makropoulos attends all aspects of boards regarding townships, counties and state, presents and questions elected officials regarding various issues pertaining to quality of life of those townships and does research and analysis of current issues to provide a well-informed solution or argument for or against said issues. He is a Civil Rights activist.
“When people follow the status quo, they don’t understand the value of a representative that will make the issues public and challenge the status quo,” he said. “Everything is timing. Now is the time to clean the corruption that has existed in Edison for generations.”
Makropoulos is seeking his first term.
“The reason I am running for mayor is because the two-party system has failed Edison for decades,” he said. “As a South Edison resident, I am ashamed the county Democrats have destroyed Edison and the Edison Republican Committee is in bed with them. There is a Civil War in Edison between grassroots leadership that want to do stuff, that’s engaged in community outreach, that’s engaged in activism versus the do nothing party leaders and government officials who have sold out the residents of Edison only to get their relatives a job at the taxpayers’ expense.”
Some areas Makropoulos would like to concentrate on as mayor include “creating dynamic partnerships between Edison Township, neighborhoods and the police force to enable more effective deterrents to crime.
“I will prohibit warehouses in residential areas, I will force warehouses to pay their fair share [and] I will work with the Board of Education to solve school overcrowding,” he said, adding he wants to “end the practice of no-bid contracts and no-show jobs, focus on the opioid/drug epidemic that has plagued families of Edison, force the state to clean up all contaminated properties harming our residents and crack down on police corruption.”
Democratic candidate Samip “Sam” Joshi did not respond before press time.
Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 2.