Follwing attacks from Make the Road Action and Democratic State Vice Chair Lizette Delgado-Polanco over statements made by Passaic Council President James Byrne, Bob Hugin’s campaign on Tuesday said he did not support or condone Byrne’s comments.
“Bob doesn’t condone these comments and is disappointed they were made,” Hugin press secretary Nick Iacovella said in a statement. “But where was this outrage in the face of Bob Menendez’s silence over Michael Saudino’s hateful, bigoted, racist, and homophobic remarks about the Bergen County African American community, our own lieutenant governor & our attorney general?”
Saudino, who resigned from his position as Bergen County Sheriff on Friday, was recorded making disparaging comments about black people shortly after Gov. Phil Murphy’s inauguration.
A wide range of officials in the state, including Murphy and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg condemned the comments and called for his resignation.
Menendez responded to Hugin’s attack with one of its own.
“I have fought my whole life for equality and to make sure that people like Sheriff Saudino and Councilman Byrnes and their bigotry and discrimination are relegated to the dustbin of history,” Menendez said. “How dare Bob Hugin, who did everything he could to elect an openly racist, misogynist, xenophobic President, and supported a known segregationist like Jesse Helms, lecture anyone?”
Byrne said “What about Sweeney? He wants to give licenses to all the Mexicans” at an event attended by Hugin and Rep. Tom MacArthur.
Hugin’s campaign said they were only made aware when they obtained a press release from Make the Road Action.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated with comment from Sen. Menendez at 5:39 p.m.