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New Jersey official resigns after uproar over ‘racist’ Facebook post

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Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images(TRENTON, N.J.) — The deputy mayor of a New Jersey town has resigned after uproar over a controversial Facebook post in which he likened undocumented immigrants to “rabid, messy, mean raccoons.”

Rick Blood resigned from his role as deputy mayor on the Mendham Township Committee.

Mendham Township clerk Mary Beth Zichelli confirmed to ABC News that Blood stepped down Monday but did not go into the details of what prompted his resignation, saying that it had been widely covered in local papers.

According to the Daily Record, Blood shared a post on Facebook that compared “illegals” to “hundreds of rabid, messy, mean raccoons [who] have overtaken your basement.”

Blood reportedly copied the post from something that was sent to him by a Facebook friend, he told The Daily Record, and he reportedly took it down on Sunday night.

The post claimed to offer an explanation for President Donald Trump’s popularity, using an example of finding a raccoon infestation after returning from a vacation.

“There is one guy and he guarantees you to get rid of them, so you hire him,” the original post said of the raccoons, according to a screengrab obtained by The Daily Record.

“You don’t care if the guy smells, you don’t care if the guy swears, you don’t care if he’s an alcoholic, you don’t care how many times he’s been married, you don’t care if he voted for Obama and you don’t care if he has a Plumbers crack. You just want those raccoons gone!” the now-deleted post read.

Blood declined by email to ABC News’ request for comment.

A previously scheduled township committee meeting was held on Monday night, during which Blood said that he did not think “my brief misstep warrants stepping down from the committee,” the Daily Record reported.

“I am sincerely sorry for the controversy this has caused, and I take full responsibility for my actions and failures,” Blood said at the meeting, according to the Daily Record.

The paper reported that two dozen people spoke during the meeting, calling the post “inherently racist” and “vile” among other things.

The meeting was called to a closed session and after which the mayor announced that Blood had submitted his resignation.

Zichelli told ABC News that since Blood ran for his now-former position as a Republican, it will be up to the local Republican committee to nominate three replacements for his seat, one of which will be selected by the Mendham Township Committee to serve until his original term expires on Dec. 31.

Mendham Township Committee mayor Richard P. Diegnan Jr. released a statement saying that he believes Blood “did the right thing” by resigning.

In the statement, Diegnan said Blood’s “attempt to have a thought provoking discussion failed and these types of posts certainly hinder progress.”

“The Facebook Post does not reflect the views of the Mendham Township Committee or the residents of Mendham Township. I strongly condemn the hurtful viewpoints expressed in the Facebook Post and I believe all people shall be treated with dignity and respect,” Diegnan said in the statement.

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