What to Know
- Residents in Edison received campaign mailers attacking two Asian school board candidates and vowing to make "Edison Great Again"
- Both mayoral candidates have denounced the mailers
- The ads are in violation of state election law, because they do not identify who paid for them
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. 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.
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 called them "vile" and "despicable."
“This mailer appears to be an act of desperation meant to misdirect and confuse voters. Make no mistake, we will do everything possible to expose the shameful people behind this," Lankey said. "We referred all documents to our police chief and the Middlesex County Prosecutor for action that they deem appropriate."
More than 45 percent of Edison Township was born abroad, and about a quarter of the township was born in India. The town also has a sizeable Chinese-American community.
Democratic Councilwoman Sapana Shah said that community relationships have improved in recent years, but she's often overheard racially motivated complaints around the township.