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Progressive Council Candidate Comes Under Fire for Racist Facebook Posts Made 10 Years Ago

Juan Ardila, a candidate for the 30th Council district, is under fire for a series of Facebook posts he made while at high school (Photo: juanforthepeople)

April 27, 2021 By Ryan Songalia

A city council candidate is under fire for racist and misogynistic social media posts he made as a teenager.

Juan Ardila, who is challenging incumbent city council member Robert Holden in District 30, has apologized after the New York Post published a story Sunday reporting on the posts. The posts all appear to be from 2009 to 2011, when the now 27-year-old was a high school student.

Among the posts published are an anti-Asian slur used against Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, as well as derogatory comments against gay people, women and Jews. Ardila also reportedly used the N-word. The NY Post published screen shots of some of the now-deleted posts.

Holden, who is seeking a second term representing the district comprised of Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Woodhaven and Woodside, said he was “shocked and saddened” by the posts from Ardila.

“There is no place anywhere in the Democratic Party, on the New York City Council or in the City of New York for the kind of racist, homophobic, misogynistic language that Mr. Ardila has publicly posted on social media,” said Holden.

A spokesperson for Ardila issued a statement in response to the criticism—and argued that Holden was using the controversy to distract from his own record.

“Juan regrets making hurtful comments when he was a kid, but the reality is that Bob Holden has used his platform as an elected official to hurt and disenfranchise vulnerable New Yorkers for years,” Ardila’s spokesperson said.

Assembly member Catherine Nolan and former assembly member Mike Miller joined Holden in condemning Ardila’s posts.

“The hate-filled social media posts written by Mr. Ardila which have recently come to light are deeply troubling, and are a sufficient cause to reject Juan Ardila as an appropriate candidate for elected office,” Nolan said.

“The racist statements which have been made by Ardila in this race are disqualifying – our communities need mature leaders who will fight for our neighborhood’s share of city services, and support our communities,” Miller added.

Ardila has garnered the endorsements of a number of elected officials in the borough, including Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, city council member Jimmy Van Bramer and State Senators Jessica Ramos and Michael Gianaris, plus organizations like the Working Families Party.

Holden has called on all of the officials and organizations to retract their endorsements.

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5 Comments

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Hob

Holden has spent years attacking immigrants, gay people etc, first as head of the Juniper Valley Civic Assoc., & then as Councilman (where he typically votes against all human rights legislation.) Shame on Nolan. When did she condemn Holden for his hate? I live in her assembly district and will be voting for her opponent next time around. She’s been alright overall, but it’s clear she’s now doing whatever she can to protect her seat, even if it means aligning herself with defacto Republicans like Holden and FORMER Assemblyman Miller.

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JaimeB

Disgusting and vile rhetoric from this no-talent City Council challenger. He was a longshot to begin with, but may as well stick a fork in his candidacy now.

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Cancel culture disgusts me.

Those who live in glass houses should never throw stones. I’ll bet you $1000, that you never said or done something to someone, whether it was a joke, or socially acceptable at the time. We all have. Its called growing up, learning from mistakes and maturing to become a better person. People like you are part of the problem nowadays…..Quick on the keyboard without ever looking in the mirror.

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Phil Campbell

I live in District 30 and am following this race closely. This story doesn’t seem to have much weight to it, primarily because of the person who raised the issue. The Jackson Heights Post should look into Bob Holden’s record as a city councilmember, because this attack is pure camouflage for Holden’s own relentless failure to represent all of his constituents fairly. Holden is far more interested in leading a Blue Lives Matter rally and making fun of BLM protesters than he is in taking the time to form effective alliances with sitting elected officials to get anything done for District 30. He’s failed on all of his campaign promises and has not passed any meaningful legislation while in office.

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Javier

Really? For things he said as a TEENAGER???
You people need to seriously get a life.

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