FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — The Florence County Republican Party Campaign Headquarters was apparently the target of vandalism over the weekend.
Party leaders say they found a condom and pads with the words “kill babies” taped to the window.
“That type of behavior- we just don’t need it right now,” Chairman Mike Page said.
Page said that aside from the incident at the party office– dozens have called him over the election season about their campaign signs being taken.
“We purchased Trump signs… And we charged five dollars for them and a lot of people came in and got them. They really liked the signs that we had,” Page said. “A week later or two weeks later they’d come back in- ‘well someone stole my Trump signs.’ And that’s been happening for months. That people are just stealing signs.”
Mattie Thomas, chair of the Florence County Democratic Party, said they’ve been having similar issues. She says she’s heard of “over 30” instances of damaged or stolen signs.
“We had so many people come back about signs being taken,” she said. “They go in their yards and take their signs. You got to have a lot of gall.”
She said the problem seems worse this election.
“The removal of signs has been so nasty,” she said. “I had three people come back three times. That’s just ridiculous. I said, ‘put them in your window.'”
South Carolina law says “It is unlawful to deface, vandalize, tamper with, or remove a lawfully placed political campaign sign prior to the election without the permission of the candidate or party.”
Someone convicted of that faces a misdemeanor and “must be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.”
Florence police say they’ve logged reports of larceny and vandalism of campaign signs this year.
One was just over the weekend and ended with the arrest of William Sanders.
Sanders is accused of ripping signs out of the ground and throwing them into the roadway early Saturday morning in Florence. He was charged with vandalism, booking records show.
Page said it’s important to remember that despite political differences and many are looking for the same thing.
“We want our children to grow up,” Page said. “I’ve got five grand children and I want them to grow up in safety. I want to be able to walk through streets at night. and I know that’s we all want the same things.”
Meanwhile, Thomas reminds people that there are more effective and legal ways to make your voice heard.
“Vote!” she said. “Vote. Vote. That’s the best thing you can do. Not signs. Voting.”
Page said he had not yet filed a police report about the vandalism at the HQ.
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