Tan Mom, formerly of Nutley, seeking Florida seat in the U.S. Senate

Patricia Krentcil in her 2012 Nutley PD booking photo. Observer file photo

Well this is tantastic news.

Tan Mom, 55, of Nutley, also known by her real name, Patricia Krentcil, is running for the U.S. Senate against sitting Sen Rick Scott, of the great State of Florida, TMZ is reporting today.

We kid you not — she apparently filed the necessary paperwork in Washington, D.C., with the Federal Election Commission, TMZ says.

As reported in The Observer in April 2012, Krentcil was arrested and charged with child endangerment for allegedly taking her 5-year-old daughter into a Nutley tanning salon where police say the girl suffered burns to one of her legs.

TMZ via the FEC

Krentcil first appeared in The Observer’s (via the Nutley Police Department’s) police blotter on May 2, 2012, following her arrest on April 24 that year. In addition to the child neglect charges, at that time, she was also wanted on a Camden County warrant and was sent there after she posted $25,000 bail on the Nutley charges.

As you’ll soon read, she was never indicted on those charges — and now she appears to want to join the Senate attempting to oust the former GOP governor of the Sunshine State in Scott. It is not immediately clear which party she’s running in, but she has been known to take up several progressive causes in the past.

It was all a decade ago

In March 2013, The Observer’s Karen Zautyk covered the case in-depth.

Zautyk wrote:

Krentcil scored a victory with the American justice system that year when an Essex County grand jury declined to indict her on the aforementioned charge of child endangerment.

The then 44-year-old Nutley mom, who apparently spent an inordinate amount of time in tanning salons, was accused of having taken the child tanning with her, in violation of state law prohibiting use of such salons by children under 14.

Krentcil’s alarming appearance, her face appearing to be just slightly lighter than Secretariat’s, made the story fodder for headlines around the globe and late-night TV monologues. Someone even produced a “Tanning Mom” action figure.

Throughout her yearlong ordeal, Krentcil remained adamant the little girl had never artificially tanned, and the grand jury, sitting in Newark, obviously agreed. She dodged a potential 10-year jail sentence.

Several hours after her vindication, Krentcil met with (a.k.a. confronted) the press outside her Nutley home. Krentcil, more than a few shades lighter than when she was first thrust into the collective consciousness, summed up the ordeal thusly: “The whole thing was ridiculous.”

What the world did this past year, she said, “made a mockery of me.”

However, it seems the future is somewhat brighter.

“There’s gonna be a movie out, which is gonna be exciting,” Krentcil said.

She also indicated a move as well as a movie may be in the offing.

“I’m gonna probably go to London and get a flat because I have a lot of modeling jobs,” she said.

When one newsperson mentioned her daughter, she exhibited a flash of temper, ordering the questioner off her property.

“My daughter does not tan!” she declared.

In its Feb. 24, 2013, edition, two days before the grand jury handed up its decision, The Sun tabloid in London published an interview with Krentcil, in which she is quoted as saying, “I have been accused of something I didn’t do and now my family and I cannot even go out in public as the taunts are just too much to bear.”

Putting her “freckle-faced angel on a tanning bed” would be “like putting a chicken in a frying pan,” she told The Sun.

As for a move across the pond, Krentcil explained, “To me, London is the perfect place. Nobody will know us and, unlike in New Jersey, I think people are more educated and less small-minded.”

Editor’s note: It appears she really meant to name Florida as a possible relocation spot, where the sun is a plenty, almost year-round — albeit this is now 10 years after that fact.

In 2013, when one of the local press asked her what she had learned from her experience, she answered, “People suck.”

Learn more about the writer ...

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.