NJ congressional candidate’s home vandalized with swastikas

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UNION TOWNSHIP, N.J. – Residents and religious leaders are standing together after a New Jersey neighborhood was stained with a sign that stands for murder.

Swastikas were drawn on and around the home of a Union County man who is running for Congress.

They were removed thanks to a neighbor and a police officer who scrubbed them for half-hour with two different chemicals.

But whoever was behind the vandalism didn't stop there. They came back and got even more brazen.

Peter Jacob woke up Monday morning to find huge signs of hate painted onto his home. He was stunned but is refusing to back down.

"We are not intimidated by these actions," Peter Jacob said.

He says this will not deter his campaign.

"This is why I became a social worker," he said. "This is why I'm running for office."

Jacob, a Democrat, is running against Congressman Leonard Lance, who represents the 7th congressional district. He was out campaigning when police knocked on his neighbor's door.

"I haven't that so I was shocked," a neighbor said.

On Friday, he and a police officer worked for 30 minutes to scrub the sidewalk where two swastikas were painted in black ink.

'I used two chemicals from my garage and still didn't get it," he said. "I think some of it is still there."

"That does not reflect the leadership nor the general residents' spirit in this township," a religious leader said.

As far as Jacob is concerned, he and his family are in positive spirits.

"My family and I – we have nothing but love and hope in our hearts," Jacob said. "There is no space for fear and anger."

Asked if he would forgive the person, Jacob said he would.

"I know nothing else more than to do something like the in my life," Jacob said. "I've been blessed to have so much and I'm too blessed to remain stressed in my life."

Even though leaders from the Muslim community stood with Peter Jacob Tuesday, he is actually Christian and an Indian American. So faith leaders said it is not just hatred but ignorance that they are battling on behalf of people of all faiths.

The Union Township are investigating who was behind the swastikas.

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