Corrected: A previous version of this story mistakenly referred to the organization that voted on Paladino’s resignation as the Buffalo County School Board. It was actually the Buffalo Board of Education.
The Buffalo Board of Education voted on Thursday to oust Republican activist Carl Paladino over comments he made saying his wish for 2017 was for President Barack Obama to die and for his wife, first lady Michelle Obama, to move to Zimbabwe with a gorilla.
The board voted 6-2 to give Paladino 24 hours to resign his seat, according to a report by NBC News. If Paladino does not, the decision will go to the Department of Education.
District President Barbara Nevergold told Paladino in a statement before the vote that he had “amassed a record and established a pattern of behavior” that violated both his ethics as a member of the board and his oath of office. According to NBC, she told Paladino that board members had fielded hundreds of complaints since his comments were published.
“They would like me to tell you, ‘You’re fired,'” she said. “But those are not my words. So I’m asking you to do the right thing and resign.”
The board’s decision was greeted with a standing ovation, NBC reported.
Paladino, who led Donald Trump’s campaign in New York, initially refused to back down, telling reporters who asked for confirmation of his comments to “go f*** themselves.” He later said that he made the remarks in an “emotional moment” and called them a “mistake.”
“I certainly am not a racist,” Paladino wrote in a statement released on Tuesday. “All men make mistakes.”