TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – Political signs are normally used to endorse a certain candidate, but this weekend they were used for something else.
“(At) 7 a.m. on Sunday, people were calling me saying, ‘hey, some of our big signs have been vandalized,'” said Tippecanoe County Sheriff candidate Barry Richard.
He said spray paint covered about a half dozen of his signs throughout the city. It’s something he said he never thought he’d have to worry about in Tippecanoe County.
“It’s something that we as a community have no desire to have,” said Richard. “It’s behavior that’s very unbecoming and unacceptable.”
This bump in the road isn’t the first for Richard on the campaign trail. Just two weeks ago, several of his signs were also stolen.
While he doesn’t think he’s being directly targeted, he does know one thing for sure.
“Somebody is making a lot of efforts to target political signs,” said Richard.
Richard said vandalism of political signs is not only frustrating for his campaign, but costly. A big sign can cost up to $150.
“You’re talking 11 or 12 signs total and that adds up to, money wise, over $1,500 in damaged and stolen property,” said Richard.
Lafayette police said they are aware of the situation and said those responsible could face charges of criminal recklessness.
However, they said it’s often hard to make any arrests unless you catch the criminal in the act.
Richard said he’s not going to let a few ruined signs get in the way of his campaign.
“We just know this is an obstacle, a challenge that we have to overcome and actually, adversity will make you stronger, and you just work harder,” said Richard.
Richard said the vandalized and stolen signs have been replaced.
News 18 also spoke with Tippecanoe County Sheriff candidate Dave Heath on Monday. He said he’s not aware of any of his signs being vandalized. However, a few of his signs have also been stolen.