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Race-baiting ads backfired, says Sikh who broke barriers in South Jersey freeholder race

Literature mailed to homes also used that slogan, which Singh said demeans all Sikhs, because the religion’s leaders hun...

Balvir Singh, a high school math teacher, became the first Sikh to be elected to the Burlington County Freeholder Board  and may be the first in the state to win a countywide seat.

His victory came the same day as a high-profile win by another Sikh, Democrat Ravi Bhalla, who was elected mayor of Hoboken, N.J. 

Singh said Wednesday that the race-baiting political ads that mocked his name and suggested he would protect criminals who are immigrants had backfired. Singh, of Burlington Township, and his running mate, Tom Pullion of Edgewater Park, won seats on the five-member board, which currently is all-Republican.

Trump’s victory last November persuaded Singh to run for office. “Last year’s election was pretty much a defining moment on how my family will be seen in this country … whether we will be judged on our skin color or seen as actual Americans, who are part of the American fabric,” he said.  “I put my name in and said, I am ready.”

But Singh said he couldn’t believe the tone of the GOP campaign.  “It was ugly campaigning. … It was heartbreaking,” Singh said.