Peter Jacob, who is running against Republican incumbent Leonard Lance to represent New Jersey’s 7th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives, discovered a swastika outside his home in Union, New Jersey, the Observer reported.
Jacob found the swastika on Friday.
“It is clearly a hate crime,” he told New Jersey News 12. “It is something that says I hate you.”
The incident is just part of a recent rash of swastika sightings in the nearby communities of Lakewood, Howell and Scotch Plains. Jacob’s campaign manager, Josh Levin, said that these incidents aren’t a coincidence but likely inspired by the casual racism of politicians like Donald Trump and Jacob’s own congressional opponent, Lance.
“What we are hearing nationally, the prejudice, the racism, it’s enabled it even further,” Jacob told New Jersey News 12.
Lance’s Chief of Staff, Todd Mitchell, called the swastika abhorrent in a press release but also condemned Levin’s charges linking Lance’s language to anti-Semitism.
“We strongly reject…the Jacob campaign’s outrageously false race-baiting attacks against Leonard Lance and his supporters. These attacks from the Jacob campaign are untrue, irresponsible and politics at its worst,” he said.