Campaign signs vandalized

Published 10:52 am Tuesday, May 8, 2012

MILLENNIUM – One Hertford County candidate has seen ugly politics first hand.

The vehicle used by Hertford County Commissioner Howard J. Hunter III as a roving billboard was vandalized here Saturday night.

Hunter, who is seeking his third term on the board, said it was the latest of a string of incidents during his reelection campaign.

“I’ve run a clean campaign this entire race,” he said. “I have not put any bad articles in the paper or printed any to pass out to the public. I have not put any signs in front of my opponent’s signs nor taken any signs up and throw them in the woods or garbage.

“All of this has happened to me,” he said.

The latest incident came Saturday when Hunter moved a vehicle to Millennium with reelection banners on each side of it. The owner of the property it was parked on gave permission for it to be left there.

Saturday night, someone removed both signs off the vehicle and ripped them, apparently with a sharp object. They were not able to be salvaged.

Hunter said he was upset about the incident and called the perpetrator a “coward.” He did insist, however, that he was not saying his opponent, Byron Simonds, had anything to do with the incidents.

“Don’t get me wrong, in no way am I blaming my opponent, but there are people in Hertford County that have been just plain old cowards,” he said.

Simonds said he in no way condoned the act.

“While Mr. Hunter’s ideas and my ideas on how to run the county and how to spend our citizens’ hard-earned tax dollars differ, I do not condone violence or destruction of campaign materials,” he said. “I hope Mr. Hunter is working with law enforcement to find out who carried out this malicious act.

“I also hope that this is not an act of aggression toward an elected official for not listening to the needs and concerns of the citizens of the county,” Simonds added. “Again, I hope Mr. Hunter is working with law enforcement to determine who is responsible for this malicious act.”

Hunter said that while he was disappointed in the actions of the people who had perpetrated the acts, he would continue to do campaign in the same manner he has all along.

“I will stay positive during this campaign and I will continue to serve our citizens with pride,” he said.