New Jersey mayoral candidate under fire over flyer seen by some as sexist

ELMWOOD PARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- A mayoral candidate in New Jersey is under fire for implying in a flyer that one of his opponents is unfit for the office because she is a single working mother of two.

But he says it is all a misunderstanding and is trying to clarify the situation.

The race is in Elmwood Park, where the former mayor was charged with election interference and candidates are running to replace him.

Among them is Robert Colletti, who once served as interim mayor of Elmwood Park and loved the job.

"It's a job that you have to be in the municipality, especially now because of the mess the town's in with the recent mayor resigning," said Colletti.

Maggie Giandomenico moved to the town from Poland when she was just 8, and now raises her two daughters there as a single parent.

She has high hopes to win the mayor's seat. "As working women, we are able to multitask, cut through the fluff," she said. "We focus in on what is important and the issues on hand."

As politics sometimes goes, controversy was sparked when many people took exception to a flyer put out by the Colletti campaign.

He asserted he would make a better mayor because he's a retired businessman, available days and evenings to handle borough business, while Giandomenico is a working mother of two young kids and has a full-time job that would restrict her from dealing with borough business during the day.

That struck a nerve with this working mother.

"The literature that he put out, it's dated and it's antiquated," said Giandomenico. "It shows the mentality of the time warp he is in."

"It's been taken completely out of context in the sense that the message was to measure time, the time I would have as a mayor being retired and full-time, as opposed to somebody who has children, who has a job," said Colletti.

Colletti started getting heat right away and posted an explanation on social media to clarify what he meant. He went even further Wednesday, offering an apology.

"I think I would have just left off the single mom," he said.

* More New Jersey news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.