Republican infighting in the Elmwood Park, New Jersey, mayoral race has led to one candidate suggesting his opponent wouldn’t be as available for the town due to her status as a single mother of two who has a full-time job.
Bob Colletti sent a flyer to Elmwood residents that included a section highlighting his availability for council duties as a “semi-retired businessman available day and evenings to handle Boro business.” This was contrasted with a point about fellow primary candidate Magdalena Giadomenico, which described her as a “single-working mother of children ages 2 & 5. Her full-time job restricts her from dealing with Boro business during the day.”
Giadomenico responded to the flyer by telling Insider NJ through her campaign page on Facebook, calling the flyer’s inference “outdated thinking.”
“The inference that Maggie can’t effectively serve as Mayor because she is a mother of two daughters is offensive and shows the outdated thinking of Bob Colletti and the people who write his campaign material,” Giadomenico and her husband, Marco, wrote on Facebook.
“Bob had no right bringing our children into this campaign. Being the first woman to seek the office of Mayor in Elmwood Park was always going to be a challenge, but never did we expect that our children would be used as a campaign issue,” they added. “We are confident that Mr. Colletti would not want his children brought into any type of political dialogue.”
Colletti responded with his own statement, issued through the Elmwood Park NJ GOP Facebook page:
“On behalf of myself, my running mates, and the entire Elmwood Park Republican Campaign Committee, I want to clarify a misinterpretation of a point made in our recent campaign piece. The literature is written objectively and is a fair overview of six candidates.”
He went on to explain that the comparison “was MEANT STRICTLY to compare the time each of the candidates has to devote to Borough business during day/work hours if they are elected to serve as mayor.” (Emphasis original.)
“IN NO WAY was it intended to imply that Maggie—or any working mother—is unable to fulfill the duties of whatever job she decides to do. Mention of her children and their ages was information she included in her own campaign literature,” he added (emphasis original). “We extend a sincere apology to those who were offended by the statements quoted and assure you again that that was not our intention.”
Colletti went on to say that, if elected, he would be serving “alongside four women officials – a majority – and the most women ever to serve on our council in borough history.”
There is, of course, an argument to be made about who will best serve their community, but mayors have had full-time jobs for generations and still managed to do their duties.