School official won't seek new term after anti-Muslim posts

TOMS RIVER, N.J. — A New Jersey school board member who has refused to resign or apologize for disparaging two Muslim congresswomen and Islam on social media has decided not to seek re-election.

Dan Leonard said Monday he didn't want to compromise the "great work" the Toms River Regional school board has done. But he also said he'll stay on the board until his term expires Dec. 31.

Monday was the filing deadline for school board candidates.

In remarks about Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib urging a hunger strike over U.S. treatment of migrants, he wrote on Facebook: "my life would be complete if she/they die." In another post he described Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, also a Muslim, as a terrorist.

He also shared a derogatory meme with an image of a bruised "Sharia Barbie' doll in a headscarf.

Leonard said he opposes "Sharia law," not Muslims.

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