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He issued a more formal statement later in the afternoon to clarify he has “never had a history of discrimination against anyone” and only meant to call out Asian-owned carryouts that sell high-calorie foods and do not engage with surrounding neighborhoods.

“It is to these less than stellar Asian American businessmen in Ward 8 that my remarks were directed, not the whole of Asian businessmen in Ward 8 or, the Asian American population,” he said in the statement.

Mr. Barry made the initial comments mere moments after he secured his party’s blessing to maintain the council seat he has held since 2005. He tallied almost 73 percent of the ward’s electorate while none of his four challengers could muster as much as 9 percent, sending a strong signal to critics who felt he should pass the baton to a young leader instead of sticking around.