200919-localnews-vandal

Graham County Democratic party treasurer Patty Cervantez holds up a damaged political banner. 

Someone with an apparent beef with the Democratic party took it upon himself to rip campaign banners off their headquarters and scream at volunteers Monday night, party officials said Tuesday.

The vandal showed up at Graham County headquarters, 816 W. Thatcher Blvd., shortly before 11 p.m. on Monday, said eyewitness Jaeden McDonald.

“He was ripping them down one by one, cussing, screaming, yelling, calling us names,” said McDonald. “I could tell he was threatening us.”

McDonald said he and other volunteers were working late when they heard the man and went outside to see what was going on. The man tore down two banners from inside his pickup truck and threw them into the bed.

As soon as he left, McDonald said all of the volunteers went home because they were afraid he would come back.

“I didn’t know if he would turn on me, that’s why I ran inside and got my phone and called the cops,” said McDonald.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing. On Tuesday morning the slightly ripped banners were found folded near the back door, having been dropped off sometime in the middle of the night, McDonald said.

McDonald suspects the man was intoxicated and hopes he’ll turn himself in to authorities.

“We’re still going to put them back up. We’re not going to let them win, we’re not going to let the hate win,” he said.

Graham County Democratic Party Chairman Nicholas Nordgran-Tellez said other Democratic campaign signs have been stolen, buried, and shredded over the last three weeks.

What happened Monday night with people inside marked a whole new level, he said. He has asked local law enforcement to visit the volunteers to offer advice should another violent situation happen.

“Clearly we are being targeted as the opposition,” said Tellez. “This isn’t the very first incident, we’ve had smaller incidents. But those kinds of things will lead to bigger incidents and we’re trying to avoid that altogether and that’s why we will continue to involve the police.”

Graham County Democratic Party Treasurer Patty Cervantez estimated the banners’ value at $500.

Load comments