Dems hit with sign violence and vandalism

Eleanor Guerrero
CCN Senior Reporter
Thursday, September 24, 2020
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Courtesy photos All the Democratic candidate signs of one resident and many of others ended up mangled in a tree on South Broadway, Friday night.

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Apparent gunshot holes in one Democratic candidate sign at a resident’s home property at West Fork.

In the last three weeks, Judith Gregory, Chair of the Democratic Party of Carbon County, has experienced damage to political signs on her property near Red Lodge. One of these signs had apparent gunshots to it.
Gregory had a Gov. Steve Bullock sign at her home on the West Fork and said “It was kicked in, its replacement stolen.”
She also had a sign for Valerie McMurtry, candidate for Montana Public Service Commission, Dist. 2, which was vandalized with an apparent shotgun hole through it. This last act took place Sunday, Sept. 17.
On Friday, Sept. 18, someone went on a tear as six Democratic candidate signs started disappearing or ending up trashed around Red Lodge from the Carnegie Library to South Broadway.
“This a.m. I was horrified to see that all but two of the Democratic signs we had on Broadway were trashed,” said Gregory. “One Broadway resident had a Bullock sign, another had a (Kathleen) Williams sign, a third resident had signs for (Governor Steve) Bullock, Williams and (Lt. Governor Mike) Cooney as well as a wonderful ‘Pilots for Biden, Let's Unite America’ sign.” 
All parties are Democratic Candidates running for office: Bullock for U.S. Senate, Williams for U.S. Rep and Cooney for Governor.
She added, “There was one Bullock sign left on Broadway - it is very securely attached - and one Valerie McMurtry sign.  We had Broadway pretty well covered.”
She also reported a Biden flat taken and flag pole broken in Luther.
A resident who lives on South Broadway said, “It was around Friday night (Sept. 18)…I had signs up for Bullock and Williams, put up about a week ago.” On Friday morning, he added a (Joe) Biden (candidate for U.S. President) sign. He recalled that someone had passed as he installed it and said it was “cool” and warned him, “Watch out! Signs are disappearing!” but added no more information. In the morning he found all of his signs mangled and thrown up in a pine tree along with others at the end of the street.
He somberly reflected on the change in Red Lodge this election.
“The heat is up! The mood…is kind of triggered.”
He will be reinstalling his signs. The police were called about all incidents and responded. There were no witnesses or cameras. “Officer (Jordan) Webb wanted to help. I could tell he was sincere. But there was nothing I could do to help him. He said they’d keep their eyes out.”
The resident doesn’t understand his community.
“I see Trump signs everywhere. It is the first I’ve put up a Biden sign. There was nothing like this in 2018 when I put up signs,” he said.
Asked if he feels he can’t express his opinion freely he reacted more concerned.
“It’s about crazy people” and he worries about his family. He will not be deterred and is thinking about installing a camera.
Any witnesses or with any knowledge should report their information to the Red Lodge Police or dispatch: 446-1234.