SOMERSET, NJ - Councilman Rajiv Prasad is no longer running for mayor, leaving the incumbent Mayor Phillip Kramer unopposed in the Democratic primary.

“After deep consideration during the last ten days, I would like to take this opportunity to inform the citizens of Franklin Township that I have notified the township clerk that I'm withdrawing my petition and ending my candidacy for mayor of Franklin Township,” Prasad said in a statement during Tuesday’s council meeting.

The at-large councilman said by running a primary campaign he would risk “opening up divisions within our community that have the potential to undermine the progress which we have all in our own ways worked so hard to achieve.”

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“However, the potential for divisiveness that so often occurs, particularly within the context of a local primary contest, is something that I do not think would be good for our community at this time,” he said.

Check out our election section to keep up to date: Elections

Instead of contesting Kramer in the primary, Prasad said he would use his remaining time in office to focus on “specific issues and concerns that can help strengthen our community.”

Republican candidate Beverly Briggs-Lawson will challenge Kramer for mayor in the November election.

To read what the candidates have to say read our: Candidate Statement Section 

Prasad’s full statement is below.

“After deep consideration during the last ten days, I would like to take this opportunity to inform the citizens of Franklin Township that I have notified the township clerk that I'm withdrawing my petition and ending my candidacy for mayor of Franklin Township.

This is not a decision I make easily. After thirteen years of serving the residents of our community as an at large councilman, I know first-hand the difference you can make as a public official, be it through the direct work of the mayor and council, participation on the various council committees, the interaction with so many with the wonderfully diverse communities of residents within the township or even just the one-on-one interactions that come with so many of our residents working together, listening, exchanging ideas all for the greater purpose of making Franklin Township a better place to call home.

It is because of this that I have come to the conclusion that running a primary campaign would run the risk of opening up divisions within our community that have the potential to undermine the progress which we have all in our own ways worked so hard to achieve.

This does not mean that vigorous debate is not healthy and should not continue to occur within the Franklin community. However, the potential for divisiveness that so often occurs, particularly within the context of a local primary contest is something that I do not think would be good for our community at this time.

Rather, I would rather focus on the specific issues and concerns that can help to strengthen our community. This I believe would be a better and more productive use of the time remaining in my term of office.

Be assured, whether I'm in office or not in office I intend to continue to be an active participant in the life of our community, continue to raise my voice on the issues which I see as significantly affecting the lives of our residents and continue to put forward my ideas as to how we can move forward with what I know is the common goal of each and every person in this room and throughout Franklin township. The goal of making our township the strongest, most unified the most forward-thinking community anywhere in the state of New Jersey.”

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