The mayor of Palisades Park apologized on Thursday for his 80-year-old mother, who went off on a racist Facebook rant against Korean Americans who live in the north New Jersey borough.
Lorraine Rotundo, the mom of Mayor James Rotundo, claimed her son is the victim of “illegal voting” by Koreans Americans in Palisades Park – which is more than 50 percent Korean.
“Go to hell PALISADES PARK, let the GD KOREANS have this F’n town,” the older Rotundo wrote. “All of us AMERICANS are so done. I am going to suggest that only English be spoken in our Boro Hall at least while an AMERICAN is still the mayor.”
The red-faced mayor said his mother in no way speaks for him.
“She has no clue about what really goes on,” James Rotundo told WABC-TV. “She hasn’t left the house in many years. So for her to make those statement are not even close to how she raised me.”
The long-time incumbent is locked in an incredibly close race with Councilman Chris Chung, who is seeking to be the first Korean-American mayor of Palisades Park.
Chung held a razor-thin lead after votes were counted from Tuesday’s primary. Provisional ballots are still to be counted and Rotundo has yet to concede.
The mayor said in a prepared statement that he’s always respected and appreciate the borough’s large Korean population.
“Yesterday my 80 year old mother, who I love dearly, put up a very inappropriate Facebook message that she sincerely regrets,” posted the younger Rotundo, mayor since 2004.
“She has apologized and retracted her statement. I have never heard my mom talk like this before and I believe her when she says she is mortified and did not mean these hurtful things.”
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