HACKENSACK - Two Republican officials in Bergen County are switching political parties over what they say are racist comments made by presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Hackensack Mayor John Labrosse and Deputy Mayor Kathleen Canestrino changed their party affiliation to independent on Thursday.
The pair says that Hackensack is a diverse city and the "divisive and racist statements that Trump keeps making are insulting to many of our people and completely unacceptable."
Labrosse and Canestrino say that Trump’s recent comments that a judge couldn’t be impartial in his case because of his Mexican heritage were particularly concerning. About 40 percent of people who live in Hackensack are Latino.
“[Trump is] really separating himself from not just the establishment party, but local folks like us,” says Labrosse. “It makes it hard for local government to function when the guy who's going to be leading your country is out there doing things like that.”
Labrosse says that he hasn’t decided yet who he will vote for in the November presidential election. He believes that he is part of a growing trend of Americans who will renounce their party affiliation after this election.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.