- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 17, 2023

Sen. Rick Scott will face off against one of Florida’s tannest mothers in the GOP primary this election cycle.

Patricia Krentcil, best known as “Tan Mom” to fans of her reality show and appearances on “The Howard Stern Show,” has filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission to run for U.S. Senate in 2024, TMZ first reported

Ms. Krentcil, a single mother with five children, became well known in 2012 after she was charged with child endangerment for taking her 5-year-old daughter to a New Jersey tanning salon. A grand jury decided not to indict her.

The former resident of Nutley, New Jersey, now lives in Boca Raton and launched her Senate campaign in the wake of her latest reality TV show, “Tan to 10,” a docuseries following her attempt to quit tanning as part of what she calls an “extreme life makeover.”

According to Ms. Krentcil’s campaign website, after the filming of her docuseries wrapped, she went on to support and champion LGBTQ+ rights, equality, diversity, and beyond, as well as “using high SPF and being safe in the sun.”

“We need everyone to be treated fairly, equally, and with respect. Drag is cool! Art is cool,” she said, apparently referencing the pitched political battles over school curricula in Florida.

Ms. Krentcil, 55, is facing an uphill battle in her primary campaign. Mr. Scott, the incumbent, is the wealthiest lawmaker in the Senate and was previously a popular governor of Florida.

A regular caller to “The Howard Stern Show” and referred to as a member of the “wack pack,” a group of unusual “Stern Show” favorite callers, Ms. Krentcil rejected that designation by show staffers and fans.

Audio clips of her voice were often used as sound effects, comedic bits and promotions. Show staffers would also play pranks on her when she called into the show.

Ms. Krentcil told Insider.com last year that her past tanning addiction and high-profile charges for child endangerment in 2012 has haunted her financially over the past decade. She said tanning salons had banned her.

Her struggles included the death of her husband Richard last year after he was diagnosed with colon cancer, COVID-19 and pneumonia.

“I changed my whole attitude on life. I’ve turned my life around,” she said. “I don’t get disrespected anymore. I don’t party or do any crazy things.”

According to TMZ, she checked herself into a Palm Beach, Florida, rehab in 2013 for alcohol abuse.

• Kerry Picket can be reached at kpicket@washingtontimes.com.

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