GOP headquarters in Frankfort target of vandals

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - Th Kentucky Republican Party headquarters in Frankfort has been the target of vandalism in the weeks leading up to the general election, the State-Journal reported.


After finding a 4-foot-by-8 foot Andy Barr sign charred and tattered on its property Tuesday, party officials called in the Frankfort Police Department.


“We filed a report in case anything else happens and to have a paper trail,” Republican Party Communications Director Tres Watson told the newspaper.


Watson said there have been numerous occurrences in the past few weeks — including one in which someone threw the large Barr sign onto the median that divides Capital Avenue and scattered opponent’s Amy McGrath signs on its lawn.


A vandal also allegedly heaved one of the signposts onto the roof of the party’s office, and the Barr sign has been torn down repeatedly, Watson added.


“It’s been ridiculous,” he said. “Nobody’s mind is being changed by this.”


After responding to the latest attack, the Frankfort Police Department ordered a nighttime “step-up patrol,” an increased police presence, around the party’s office.


The race between Barr and McGrath in the 6
th Congressional District, which includes Anderson, Bath, Bourbon, Clark, Estill, Fayette, Fleming, Franklin, Madison, Menifee, Montgomery, Nicholas, Powell, Robertson, Scott, Wolfe and Woodford counties, as well as portions of Harrison and Jessamine counties, has been hotly contested.


Two years ago, Barr won the district by 22 points, but this year’s race is considered a toss-up by The Cook Political Report.


In mid-April, the headquarters was vandalized when the stone and metal Mitch McConnell Building sign was spray-painted red.


Though the damage occurred as educators and supporters descended on the Capitol for rallies, Watson stopped short of placing the blame on them. However, after the pension rally on April 2, party officials reported that a pound of litter was left on the headquarters’ lawn.


Marisa McNee, deputy executive director of communications for the state’s Democratic Party, said there has been no such trouble at its headquarters here. Yet, she added, the party doesn’t have election signs on its property either.


“So there’s not really an opportunity; also we are further out,” McNee said of the sixi-mile distance between the Capitol and the Democratic Party headquarters, near Cracker Barrel off Versailles Road.


McNee said she has also heard reports of voters stealing each other’s signs.


In Lexington, the Republican Party of Fayette County has also been victim to attacks.


In July, someone threw a sledgehammer through a front window of its office on Southland Drive. The words “Nazi scum” and “die Nazi” were painted on the front windows in August 2017 and in November 2016, a vandal threw a dumbbell through the glass front door.


“It’s just sad and selfish,” Watson said.

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