Brooklyn state Senate candidate Vito Bruno’s separated wife repeatedly attacked Orthodox Jewish people on Facebook.
Since the outbreak of coronavirus, the candidate’s spouse, Patricia Bruno, has spread stereotypes, recounted a confrontation she initiated with Orthodox children and shared a petition calling for an investigation into “welfare fraud” by Hasidic Jews.
The couple has been separated for 10 years, according to Vito Bruno’s campaign. The candidate denounced her views, as he recently did those of a campaign volunteer whom the Daily News found to have made numerous anti-Semitic tweets.
Patricia Bruno’s diatribes came as city leaders have sought to walk a delicate line urging Orthodox Jews to follow coronavirus restrictions in hotspots including Borough Park, Brooklyn — adjacent to the South Brooklyn neighborhood Vito Bruno is seeking to represent.
“What don’t you understand. [T]hey do what they want,” Patricia Bruno wrote on April 15, commenting on a video she shared purporting to show Orthodox Jewish people breaking the rules.
On April 18, she said she was so mad at the sight of “[O]rthodox people prancing [in] the street” that she confronted them about their lack of masks.
“So i’m parking my car,” she continued. “I see 3 orthodox [sic] girls walking without a mask. Now I’m out of my car. I said, ‘where are all your masks… you are killing people and I’m calling the cops’ all 3 girls laughed right in my face. This is a disgrace. I’m fed up.”
The day before, she shared a Change.org petition calling for a “full investigation” into “welfare fraud by Hasidic” Jews. The petition has since been taken down.
On April 7, Patricia Bruno shared a video purporting to show Orthodox Jewish men telling people, “The Coronavirus is only for the goyim … non-jews [sic].”
Patricia Bruno commented: “so wtf are they looking for help at Maimonides [Hospital]. This is insane.”
She works as a secretary at Maimonides, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Reached for comment Thursday, Patricia Bruno said, “I really don’t want to get involved with any of this,” then hung up on a reporter.
“Vito Bruno repeatedly and unequivocally has stated that anti-Semitism is unacceptable in our society,” his campaign said in a statement. “He has been separated from his wife for ten years, and clearly there’s a reason. He does not accept these views.”
Patricia Bruno contributed to her husband’s unsuccessful campaign for Brooklyn borough president in 2017, according to city records.
Vito Bruno is running as a Republican against state Sen. Andrew Gounardes, a Democrat, in the November election to rep a swath of South Brooklyn including Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst.
“This kind of commentary is deeply disturbing and disheartening to hear about,” a Gounardes campaign spokesperson said. “As our country grapples with the rising tide of hatred and anti-Semitism, the public needs to be able to have complete confidence that any candidate for office will stand up clearly and firmly against hate — not feed into it.”
Last week, The News found Vito Bruno’s campaign volunteer Raymond Ranaletta had approvingly tweeted about Hitler and Mussolini, among other anti-Semitic messages.
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