Mary MuellerNov 6, 2017, 11:01 pmNov 7, 2017, 12:56 pm

Mailer heats already contentious race for Yonkers City Council president

Mike Khader says his opponent, Liam McLaughlin, used an unflattering photo of him visiting his mom in the hospital


YONKERS — A mailer is adding more fuel to a fiery Yonkers City Council presidential race.

The mailer from current Yonkers City Council President and Republican Liam McLaughlin shows an unflattering photo of his Democratic opponent, Mike Khader, with the words "tax warrants, debt collectors and summary judgments" next to it.

Khader says the picture was taken while he was in the hospital last year with his mother who was getting chemotherapy.

"I was really appalled and it went to a new low," Khader said.

In the original photo, Khader can be seen sitting next to his sister. He says McLaughlin targeted him at a low point and disregarded his family.

"In the photo, we were at the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx,” he said. “Night after night, we were always standing there for her and looking pretty and having our hair combed was the least of our priorities."

Khader says he doesn't need an apology but his mother, who was battling Leukemia at the time, should get one.

McLaughlin's campaign manager, John Alev, denied our request for an on-camera interview and says no apology will be issued.

"The Fair Campaign Practices Committee already affirmed the fact that we can't trust anything our opponent says, and here he goes again making things up. He originally posted the photo to social media, and it has been used for months," Aley said in a statement.

Khader says he only discovered the mailer over the weekend.

"He looked like he was in a cell, not in a hospital. I think they could have taken another photo, without his authorization, I think it’s wrong," Yonkers resident Aida Martinez said.

One woman who plans to vote for McLaughlin was disturbed by it.

"It makes me uncomfortable; it's very prejudicial," Yonkers resident Maureen said.

But she and other McLaughlin supporters question if Khader is, in fact, telling the truth.

Some said even if he is, it doesn't matter.

“Democrats, Republicans, they're using dirt on everyone else, so if it’s true, print it,” McLaughlin supporter Gary Feinberg said.

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