BOGOTA - Political tensions are boiling over after the mayor of Bogota says he was punched in the face by the father of a council candidate.
Mayor Tito Jackson has a small bruise on his left cheek from a punch that he says pales in comparison to the black eye his town now has. "I'm very upset for our town and the image it portrays," he says. "This is not what Bogota is about."
Jackson says he was confronted by the 80-year-old father of Tina Trotta, who ran for council and lost, just after voting in Tuesday's primary. After a confrontation, Jackson says the man punched him.
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"Attacking anyone, whether it's an elected official or a resident, while exercising their right to vote is unacceptable," Jackson says.
Jackson says the attack was part of the political tension between Trotta and the town. She is suing Bogota over the redevelopment of a park behind her house.
Trotta's father told Politicker NJ that he threw the punch in self-defense after Jackson shoved him.
Residents say what happened to the mayor is just part of ongoing political rivalries and general dysfunction among elected officials.
With several new candidates vying for an elected spot, Jackson hopes the political climate in Bogota improves and allows the town to move forward.