ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As we get closer to the election, some of the politics have turned dirty. Vandals are damaging property and destroying campaign signs across the Albuquerque metro area.
The New Mexico Republican Party said it is being targeted by vandals. “It shouldn’t be part of American political life,” Republican Party Chairman Steve Pearce said.
Over the weekend, the party said Trump signs in northeast Albuquerque were stolen, and others were vandalized. Cell phone video shows someone wielding a knife, jumping out of a car, and cutting through a sign at Juan Tabo and Montgomery. “It is the act of extremists that you worry about,” Pearce said. “It is the fact that it may not be enough for the next time.”
In Rio Rancho, the phrases “Black Lives Matter,” as well as a disparaging acronym for police, were spray-painted on signs there. This all comes the same weekend that vandals spray-painted “BIDEN” on the windows on the Trump Victory office on Eubank.
“The debate has really been pretty civil in most places here in New Mexico, so yes it is a surprise,” Pearce said. “It is never reassuring to see this.”
Pearce said this isn’t the first time this has happened. In February, police arrested Cameron McCall, who was accused of vandalizing the GOP headquarters. However, the District Attorney dropped the charges and said they could not positively identify McCall as the man in the surveillance video. “What you don’t prosecute, you’re gonna get more of,” Pearce said.
Pearce is calling on Democrats to condemn acts like these. “We are definitely shocked and disappointed to see this happening,” Democratic Party of New Mexico Communications Director Miranda van Dijk said. “We have been very committed to making sure we are building up Democratic enthusiasm, but we never encourage anybody to destroy anyone’s property.”
Van Dijk said there have been reports of the destruction of Biden signs as well in Taos and Corrales. Both agree that this kind of behavior is not the answer. “We all want a safe place for our families to live,” Pearce said. “So let’s find commonalities between us.”
The Republican Party said it filed police reports in both Albuquerque and Rio Rancho. The DA’s Office would not comment.
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