Brooklyn State Sen. Andrew Gounardes may be a ham — but his political opponents don’t find him funny.
Goofy photos of the freshman Democrat wearing a sombrero and hoisting a dead pig on his shoulders have prompted a conservative group with direct ties to the pol Gounardes replaced to label him a racist and call for his resignation.
“Sen. Gounardes should apologize for his mocking of Mexican people and the Mexicans he represents, along with their culture, traditions and customs,” Marko Kepi, the founder NYC Republicans told the Daily News.
The group shared Facebook photos of a smiling Gounardes and his family wearing fake mustaches and preparing a pig roast as they celebrated Greek Easter, which fell on Cinco de Mayo the year the pics were snapped.
The pig also dons a pink sombrero and a fake mustache in one shot.
Gounardes said the photos don’t reflect his values.
“I have long believed in treating everyone with fairness, kindness, and dignity, and I have a better awareness now that these photos don’t express the fullest of my commitment to those values,” he said in a statement.
Friends of the lawmaker brushed off the hog-centric photo shoot as nothing more than innocent family fun and part of a smear campaign run by disgruntled supporters of longtime Republican state Sen. Marty Golden, whom Gounardes unseated last year.
“I’m not surprised the local GOP has the fake outrage machine burning at both ends,” Councilman Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge) said. “Andrew dethroned their king, and they still haven’t gotten over it. The campaign is long over. Sadly, they haven’t gotten the memo.”
Councilman Carlos Menchaca (D-Sunset Park), the only Mexican-American elected official in the state, also stood by his fellow Dem.
“I’ve spoken to Senator Gounardes and he acknowledged what he did was misguided,” Menchaca said. “This is not representative of who he is and attempts to use this as a political smear detracts from the work we have to do to uplift the Mexican community in New York State, especially the most vulnerable.”
Gounardes added that he will “not allow this clearly politically motivated smear to detract from my commitment to inclusiveness and the work I’ve been elected to do.”
The 33-year-old toppled Golden in a tight race in November and has dealt with some pushback from conservatives aligned with his defeated opponent.
Kepi, whose LinkedIn profile mentions working for Golden as a “special assistant” for years, attempted to link the pics to the recent controversy surrounding Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and a photo featuring a man in blackface.
“If Senator Gounardes saw nothing wrong with these pictures then why did he take them down? This is simply RACIST!” he wrote.