PROSPECT PARK, NJ - Councilman Anand Shah wanted to be spending today's Primary Election Day reaching out to people and reminding them to cast their votes in Prospect Park.  Shah, however, was hospitalized and is in the care of the physicians at Mountainside Hospital in Montclair.

Shah told TAPinto Hawthorne that, "About ten days ago after work, I fell in the driveway.  I put my hands up to protect my face and fractured my thumb."  He carried on but then fell again a few days after.  "Two days ago, I was getting lightheaded.  I didn't think about it but got dizzy and fell again."  It was then he was taken to the hospital and underwent cardiology exams.  "I have a great team of doctors and nurses looking after me.  It could be dehydration or it could be something lining the heart," Shah said. 

The councilman will be undergoing more exams and remain under observation for heart fluctuations.  "I'm just playing it by ear for now.  The doctors are trying to figure out what's causing me to be dizzy, off balancing, and falling."

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While there is never a good time to be hospitalized, the timing came as a particular disappointment for Shah who was looking forward to being on the ground for the Primary Election.  "I'd be out there getting people out to vote, encouraging their votes-by-mail, helping anyone who is disabled to get to vote," he said.  "This is a different kind of election.  All elections are important but this is also a presidential primary election.  Every vote counts."

Shah is not the only local elected official to recently be hospitalized for heart issues.  Congressman Bill Pascrell Jr., who represents Clifton, Haledon, Hawthorne, Passaic, Paterson, and Prospect Park in the Passaic County part of New Jersey's 9th Congressional District, underwent a cardiac procedure to clear blockages on Sunday.  The 83 year-old congressman is expected to make a full recovery.

Shah is a delegate for Vice President Joe Biden and, he believes, the first presidential delegate to come out of Prospect Park.  On the ballot, Republicans have a choice of President Donald Trump or a write-in, since he is running uncontested.  Democrats have a choice of Vice President Joe Biden or Senator Bernie Sanders.  "I think Biden will carry it handily," Shah said, as Biden is the presumptive nominee and Sanders himself endorsed the former Vice President in April.  Shah added that he is also supporting his fellow local Councilmembers Robert Artis and Felicia Ortiz in their re-election bid.

"It's a great opportunity, I just want to remind people to exercise their right to vote.  I strongly believe in that right."  As for his status as a delegate, Shah said, "I'm honored and delighted to be a delegate."

While Prospect Park voters are choosing a presidential nominee, they are also voting for their party's senatorial, congressional, county freeholder, and two council nominees.  Democrats have incumbent Councilmembers Robert Artis and Felicia Ortiz running unopposed.  Republican candidates are Thomas F.X. Magura and Emma Maria Anderson, also running unopposed in their primary.

"I thank everyone that has reached out to me, and for their prayers as well," Shah said from his hospital bed.  "It is greatly appreciated."

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