A New Jersey school board candidate is under fire over a tone deaf Halloween costume consisting of a T-shirt reading “Where is Nancy?” – an apparent reference to the attack on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul.
An anonymous Twitter account posted a photo of Tom Gregor, a sales exec running unopposed for a seat on the Bethlehem Township school board, posing in the shirt and holding a skeleton.
The frightening image appeared days after David DePape allegedly attacked Pelosi with a hammer at his San Francisco home, fracturing his skull, after asking the same question seen on Gregor’s shirt.
The crazed suspect was looking for the 82-year-old victim’s wife, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was in DC at the time, authorities have said.
“A friend just sent me this distressing image from Hunterdon County NJ. Says the guy in the ‘Where is Nancy’ shirt is running for board of ed nearby,” the Twitter user wrote Monday in the post of the image.
“These people walk among us. Not good,” the person added.
When questioned by NJ Advance Media about his question and who “Nancy” was, Gregor replied: “I don’t know who Nancy is.”
The candidate danced around last week’s attack by saying he was simply dressed as a “home intruder” – and when pressed about why he wrote “Nancy,” he answered, “No reason.”
“It’s what was in the current event of the week,” Gregor said, adding that he was “not dressed up as Nancy Pelosi.”
“No, I think it’s just a Nancy in general. Like a Karen, a Nancy,” he added, perplexingly, NJ.com reported.
Gregor, who served on the school board from 2015-2017, faced a backlash online for his costume of choice.
“That isn’t funny and it’s not just a costume. He’s making a statement, sad that he’s running unopposed,” one user wrote on Twitter.
“wow what a great influence this guy is to students,” another said.
“Based on his own assertion that he doesn’t know who Nancy is should be sufficient reason for anyone not to elect him to be responsible for approving educational curriculum and pedagogy for students,” a third added.
But some weren’t as offended.
“Take a joke people. Ya’ll really get stirred up about the smallest s—. If this is offending, maybe its time to take a joke and grow up,” one said.
School board President Kyle Harris told NJ Advance Media that the district seeks to provide students with “a safe, supportive environment that promotes social and emotional learning, self-discipline, and motivation to achieve their potential.
“The Bethlehem Township Board of Education is non-partisan and respects the different political views of its members and the public,” Harris said. “The BTBOE does not support any act of violence. Finally, the BTBOE will not comment on the actions of the public, including Mr. Gregor’s, since he is not a member of the board.”
Another candidate, Francis Goger, said he found the image inappropriate.
“I find the picture in poor taste for someone representing the taxpayers of Bethlehem Township on matters that concern the educational program, safety, and well-being of students in the Bethlehem Township School District,” he told the outlet.
Janet Bamford, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey School Boards Association, said the group “is not aware of anything in the Code of Ethics for Board Members which would prohibit this,” referring to the photo.
The state Department of Education and the director of the Office of School Ethics did not immediately respond to the outlet’s messages.