SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Campaign signs for the Seminole County sheriff’s race have recently become targets of vandalism, according to candidates running for the position.
Spike Hopkins, who is running for sheriff as a Democrat, said he first noticed several of his signs damaged or missing at the beginning of the month.
“We found out about eight of my large signs were taken, destroyed or thrown to the ground,” Hopkins said. “One of those, I put back up, the next day it was thrown in the ditch again. One of the other signs was thrown in a large canal and we fished that out.”
Hopkins said another sign was spray-painted with the name of his opponent, Sheriff Dennis Lemma, who said his campaign signs have also been targeted by vandals.
“These signs are expensive. These signs are at least for us, they’re more than $50 apiece,” Lemma said. “We’ve got hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of damaged signs.”
Lemma said the vandals could be part of an anti-law enforcement message or someone who took part in a crime of opportunity.
“If I can find out who’s responsible for that, I’m going to work with the state attorney’s office to ensure that they’re criminally held accountable,” Lemma said.
Lemma said deputies would be on the lookout for anyone destroying the property of any political candidate. Meanwhile, both Lemma and Hopkins said they’re encouraging people to use their voice at the ballot box on election day, which is Nov. 3.