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Vandals damage campaign signs in Candia

By BRENDAN CLOGSTON
Union Leader Correspondent

October 08. 2012 10:21PM

CANDIA - Political signs are rarely safe from vandalism in an election year, but in the last few weeks, Candia has seen an unusual surge in damage that has town police scratching their heads.

More than a dozen signs have been vandalized across the town over the last month. Some larger, 4x8 lawn signs, one of them for Congressman Frank Guinta's reelection campaign, have even been slashed in half, possibly with an axe, according to Candia police.

Reports of the vandalism came from patrol officers and homeowners. District 16 State Sen. David Boutin's reelection campaign and Rockingham County's Distict 1 Republican nominee for the New Hampshire House of Representatives, Romeo Danais, also reported damage to his signs in the area to Candia police.

The initial incidents were generally mild, with signs simply knocked down or driven over. Candia police became concerned as the acts grew in frequency and severity. 'We thought (at first) it might be kids. It usually happens every year; there are always some signs knocked over. Could even be the wind…We didn't think much of it. And then they got worse over the month,' said Chief Mike McGillen.

The only apparent pattern is that the signs seem to be exclusively for Republican candidates. 'I can't even think of any reports of any Democratic signs,' McGillen said.

No one has been charged at this time, and Candia police have no leads on the case because if the vandals aren't caught in the act it is hard to determine their identity after the fact, police said.

Officers on patrol have been informed of the incidents, however, and directed to be on the lookout for suspicious activity where there is a concentration of political signs.

Political signs are not the only property damaged in Candia over the month. Harm has also been done to the town's Civil War monument. A resident found the bronze musket belonging to the statue on the ground on Sept. 25 and reported it to the police. It is unclear if the damage was vandalism or an accident. The rifle is being kept at Candia Police Department headquarters. The Heritage Commission is working with the department to determine what happened at the site.

bclogston@newstote.com


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