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2 Lew-Port candidates denounce racist flyers that endorse them

Two candidates for the Lewiston-Porter Board of Education on Friday vehemently disavowed a flyer mailed to some district residents that contained that endorsed them as the candidates that will "Keep Lew-Port white" in Tuesday's election.

"White Schools Matter," was the headline on the flyer, which also contained Nazi symbols.

It endorsed Betty VanDenBosch-Warrick and Sarah Roat Waechter, two of the four candidates in the Board of Education race.

All four candidates in Tuesday's race are white, and Superintendent Paul Casseri said the school's student body is only 2 percent African-American. He posted a statement denouncing the flyer on the district's website.

"It not only attacks two board members but it's defaming to our district as a whole. It's disgusting," Casseri said in an interview.

"This propaganda falsely accuses me of having ties with the Aryan Resistance, which may or may not exist. At no time during my campaign or in my life, have I ever had contact with this hate group or any other hate group. I find this type of vicious attack to be disgusting with no place in our community," Waechter said in a Facebook post.

"The thought of anyone connecting me or Sarah to this hate group is deeply disturbing. I emphatically denounce any group that spreads hatred and bigotry in our community. I have spoken out against racism, sexism and hate at every opportunity and will continue to do so," VanDenBosch-Warrick wrote on her Facebook page.

Niagara County District Attorney Caroline A. Wojtaszek said her office is talking to postal inspectors about how the flyer was distributed, but she said it appeared to be protected free speech. "I'm not sure any of it will result in criminal charges," she said.

This incident comes after fliers promoting white supremacist beliefs and "White Lives Matter" were left in driveways in the village of Lewiston in March and on Grand Island in April. Horace Scott Lacy, a man identified by the Anti-Defamation League as a member of a white supremacist group, admitted to distributing the material in the village of Lewiston.

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