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Palisades Park Mayoral Candidate Catches Heat For Anti-Korean Facebook Post

July 19, 2018 - 10:28 am

PALISADES PARK, N.J. (WCBS 880) -- A candidate for mayor in Palisades Park is catching heat for an anti-Korean social media post.

Anthony "Willie" Sambogna's Facebook post accuses the Democrat running for mayor, Chris Chung, of making the November general election about "Korean power."

Sambogna is urging residents not to choose Chung or his Korean running mates.

"This is not the year to vote for any Korean candidate, none of them have the vision or knowledge to be serving on our town council," Sambogna wrote on Facebook.

And he's making no apologies.

"Absolutely not. It's a fact of life they are not qualified. They refer to me as the Italian kid who is running, means nothing. I'm not offended by it," Sambogna told WCBS 880's Marla Diamond.

Sambogna, the independent running for mayor, says Korean small businesses in town are closing at alarming numbers and Korean-elected liaisons aren't doing enough to stop it.

"By those business districts failing it is eroding our tax base, which the homeowners will have to pick up," Sambogna said.

Sambogna said he is not racist. 

"I have many Korean friends and I've worked actively in several elections as an individual supporting Korean candidates," he said.

The comments come on the heels of a profanity-laced anti-Korean Facebook post by the current mayor's 80-year-old mother in June that touched off protests in the town where Asians make up 57 percent of the population, and ended with her son, Anthony Rotundo, narrowly losing to Chung in the primary.

Rotundo publicly denounced his mother's comments.