EDISON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — Racist campaign mailers attacking two Asian school board candidates and demanding to “Make Edison Great Again” are circulating throughout a New Jersey township, but so far no one is taking credit.
Edison Township residents received the anonymous mailers Wednesday, NJ101.5FM reported . The mailers evoke the campaign slogan of President Donald Trump while claiming Chinese and Indian residents are “taking over” the town.
School board candidates Jerry Shi and Falguni Patel are featured on the campaign mailers with “deport” stamps on their pictures.
The ads are in violation of state election law, because they do not identify who paid for them.
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Patel, a Democratic committeewoman and immigration lawyer, said she’s disgusted by the pamphlets.
“I was born and raised in New Jersey,” she said. “To see the word ‘deport’ on my picture … really it’s just outrageous.”
Both mayoral candidates have also denounced the mailers. Republican Keith Hahn vowed to find the “anonymous cowards” behind the mailer, while Democratic Mayor Tom Lankey said it is a “sad reality” that certain people feel empowered to express “these vile ideas.”
Edison Township has a large Asian-American community, many of them Chinese and Indian immigrants. More than 45 percent of Edison Township was born abroad, and about a quarter of the township was born in India.
Democratic Councilwoman Sapana Shah said that community relationships have improved in recent years, but she’s often overheard racially motivated complaints around the township.