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Party chairs condemn campaign sign vandalism

Leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties are condemning theft and defacement of campaign signs, saying that the rash of vandalism is escalating beyond what the community has seen in past elections. Here are statements the Lightning received from the chairs of the Republican and Democratic chairs.


'Pull together and stop this lawlessness'




The Henderson County Republican Party soundly repudiates all criminal activity against all parties and all candidates and will prosecute to fullest extent of the law if the perpetrator is apprehended.
During the early morning hours on October 9th, a premeditated and coordinated effort of leftist criminals vandalized private property in various areas of our county and two neighboring counties that night. They were prepared with ladders, spray paint, knives, heavy adhesives, and duct tape and went to work.
A billboard the Republican Party paid for was ruined with spray paint. Candidate signs were stolen, defaced then heavily glued to the Republican Headquarters’ window. The same morning a candidate’s residence was vandalized. Two 4X8 Trump signs at the entrance of the Four Seasons Mall requiring a ladder to reach were cut up, and a large Trump banner placed high up on a facing was torn. This was a premeditated widespread attack. We have police reports, newspaper accounts and the ugly acts against Republicans here in Henderson County have even made it into national news.
The attacks on the Republican Party and even Republicans themselves are escalating, and dangerous.
We estimate as many as 800 Trump signs have been stolen off roads and out of front yards, and countless other candidate signs have been stolen or vandalized. Some folks are putting their signs and banners high up in trees to stop the thievery.
If your sign or property gets stolen or vandalized, please report it to law enforcement. If you see someone stealing or defacing private property, try to get a picture of the person and license plate and report it to the police.
To those who’s signs were stolen, please do not retaliate. The Henderson County Republican Party will issue a reward to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of someone stealing or vandalizing the property of any political party or candidate.
We must pull together as a community and stop this lawlessness.


Merry Guy is chair of the Henderson County Republican Party.

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'Eye for an eye' will soon leave us blind


As Chairperson of the Henderson County Democratic Party, I thoroughly condemn the recent acts of sign theft and vandalism in Henderson County.  Neither party has promoted or encouraged such action, and have, in fact, condemned these actions in their social media and other communications.  I have communicated with HCRP leadership to assure them that our county party as an entity had no role in the recent act vandalism at their office.  Moreover, I have publicly condemned in our social media and E-newsletter any notion of retaliation from Democrats for the ongoing problem of theft and vandalism of our signs

Both parties have experienced roughly equal problems with sign theft and vandalism.  When Democrats put up large signs on private property in late August, early September, three signs were damaged within the first week.  At least two of these signs, on 4x4 posts, been pulled from the ground by chains.  Several signs have been replaced more than once.  The Times-News published a LTE from me shortly after these first acts of vandalism.  Since then, the candidate sign theft has increased.  Any belief that one party is targeted more than the other is in error. Sadly, the recent property damage at the HCRP Headquarters is a sign of escalation that suggests origins that go beyond the usual partisan scuffling.

Following the recent front page report on the damage at HCRP Headquarters, two black pickup trucks were spotted removing Democratic candidate signs from four locations in the county. People who may be retaliating for what they believe to be the actions of the other party should know that their actions are achieving nothing but inciting further problems.  This whole “eye for an eye” approach will soon leave us all blind. 

I would assume that the HCRP leadership, as do I, favor the prosecution of the perpetrators of all of these acts of scofflawry on both sides, and by any outside agitators who may be involved.  Sadly, the task of identifying the miscreants is difficult. 

As I have talked with people about all of the acts of vandalism,  a number of theories as to the background or origins of the perpetrators have been discussed.  While the leadership of neither county party can say with assurance that none of our own local angry partisans are involved, I wish to make it absolutely, unequivocally clear that the Henderson County Democratic Party clearly and firmly condemns any acts of theft and vandalism against opposing political parties.  Such acts are only hardening the hearts of their opposition and exacerbating the hard feelings that exist. Whoever they may be, the perpetrators are not helping their cause by these actions---unless their intent is much more insidious than merely angry partisanship.

Kathleen Gould is chair of the Henderson County Democratic Party.