OLD LYME, Conn. (WTNH) — Campaign signs for Republicans and Democrats were defaced Sunday morning in Old Lyme.
Swastikas and profane images were spray painted on the signs for Republican John Mesham and Democrat Martha Shoemaker, who are both running for first selectman.
Mesham’s running mate’s son is Jewish.
“I was surprised by the hatred and vitriol that was expressed on this sign, and I’m shocked that in this day and age we have people using Nazi symbols to describe their neighbors and friends,” he said.
The Old Lyme Democrats released a statement on Instagram condemning the action.
“It has come to our attention that last night, signs supporting both the Democrat and Republican selectmen in town were defaced with spray painted vulgarities and hateful rhetoric,” the statement reads. “In addition to subverting the democratic process, vandalism is a crime, and we have reported both incidents to the police. The Old Lyme Democrats oppose any sign theft or vandalism.”
The statement points to the cost of the signs and the role they play in educating voters.
“They are perhaps the greatest example of our country’s long tradition of free speech in action,” the statement reads. “They are perhaps the greatest example of our country’s long tradition of free speech in action. Please stand with us in condemning this behavior and respecting BOTH political parties in town. We may disagree on policy issues, but we all agree that this is not what Old Lyme is about.”