“I apologize unequivocally for the photo,” La Spata said in a statement. “The photograph and the costumes were not racially motivated, but I understand how it could be perceived.”
The 2013 photo, which La Spata removed Tuesday from his Facebook page, was taken during his bachelor party, when his friends surprised him with a banana costume and chased him in Millennium Park while wearing monkey masks. Kids in the park asked to take a picture with the group, according to a statement from the campaign.
“This type of insensitivity and bigotry has no place anywhere,” Moreno said in a tweet.
In a text message to The Daily Line, Moreno said had nothing to add to his tweet.
Black Caucus Chairman Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6) criticized the photo in a statement, as did Latino Caucus Chairman Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36).
“Whether it’s Ralph Northam in Virginia, or an aldermanic candidate here in Chicago, there should be no place in our politics for this kind of blatant racist imagery,” Sawyer said. “I have no interest in having a colleague in the City Council who would participate in this sort of bigotry.”
Villegas said he had concerns about La Spata’s behavior.
“Whether it’s elected officials from Virginia or the White House, hate has no home here and definitely not on the City Council,” Villegas said in a tweet.
Sawyer is running for re-election, while Villegas is unopposed.
“As alderman, I will use my office to break down racial inequities in our ward and city, as I’ve done personally and professionally for the last 13 years,” La Spata said.