EDISON, N.J. — It’s a known fact that election campaigns could get intense, but in Edison, N.J. some say things have gotten downright nasty and racist.
It happened after several residents received a flyer in the mail suggesting two candidates vying for seats on the district's Board of Education be deported.
One candidate is Chinese and the other Indian.
The postcard singles out school board candidates Jingwei (Jerry) Shi and Falguni Patel, ahead of next week's election.
Pulling a page out of then-candidate Donald Trump's presidential campaign, the postcard urges residents "To make Edison great again," and further warning that "the Chinese and Indians are taking over our town."
Under Shi and Patel's photos reads "deport," an odd assertion considering both were born in the United States and are long time Edison residents.
The mailer goes on to list a number of grievances from the anonymous group including overcrowding and multiple families living in the same house, before proclaiming – “STOP THE OUTSIDERS.”
“That’s just odd and horrible,” Sandy Semenas, a resident who was born and raised in Edison, told PIX11 News. “That’s why I pay the taxes I pay because I appreciate the diversity.”
What’s so striking about the postcard – it targets groups that have long resided in the town. According to the U.S. census, nearly half of Edison’s residents are Asian, while 45 percent of the town’s 102,000 population is foreign born.
In a joint statement, Shi and Falguni called the attacks “un-American” saying “We will not be distracted by these unfortunate attacks… We will continue to focus on our campaign and work for the students and taxpayers of this town that we love.”
Meanwhile, Edison’s Mayor Thomas Lankey denounced the flyer – calling it vile and racist.
“Our community proudly embraces our ethnic, cultural and religious diversity,” the mayor said in a statement to PIX11. “This mailer appears to be an act of desperation meant to misdirect and confuse voters.”
It remains a mystery as to who is behind the racist postcards. Officials are seeking to launch an investigation.