Howell mayor calls opponent’s political mailers ‘anti-Semitic’

The mayor of Howell says that political mailers sent out by his opponent are anti-Semitic.

"The content of the two recent political mailings clearly contain racially charged associations to the Lakewood community and their Orthodox populations," says Mayor William Gotto.

The theme of the mailers involve recent developments and ongoing construction in neighboring Lakewood Township. It is an issue that some Howell residents say is of great concern.

"Howell residents are afraid of similar projects may make their way into Howell," Gotto says.

"It's changing the way of life that we are used to," says one resident.

The political ads were sent out by Democratic mayoral candidate Theresa Berger.

Berger defends the material and says in a statement, "It is utterly ridiculous and patently false to call me anti-Semitic; my mother, husband and children are of the Jewish religion. I am Catholic. The phrase 'Lakewood-style development' refers to high density, overcrowding, and poorly planned building."

The statement continued, "The salient issue here is responsible municipal planning - it has absolutely nothing to do with anyone's religious affiliation. Howell Township residents deserve leadership that is responsible and accountable, not self-serving 'politicians that try to muddy the waters with untruths in order to divert attention from their poor track record."

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