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News >  WA Government

Campaign sign theft, vandalism reach new levels in 5th District race

UPDATED: Sun., Nov. 4, 2018

A campaign sign for Lisa Brown sits in  a parking strip in Spokane on Aug. 22, 2018. (Ted S. Warren / AP)
A campaign sign for Lisa Brown sits in a parking strip in Spokane on Aug. 22, 2018. (Ted S. Warren / AP)

Theft and defacement of campaign signs may be at an all-time high in the 5th Congressional District.

Campaign teams for both Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Lisa Brown have received reports of swastikas drawn on signs, and the incumbent’s team said that a rash of thefts this year is the worst they’ve experienced during McMorris Rodgers’ 13 years as U.S. congresswoman.

“We have far more signs stolen and vandalized this election,” said Jared Powell, spokesman for McMorris Rodgers. “But the swastikas are another level that we’ve not seen.”

Keeley Smith, spokeswoman for Brown, said thousands of Brown’s signs have been stolen and some have been tagged with swastikas too.

“It’s unfortunate,” she said. “We haven’t kept track very closely because there have been so many.”

Sign stealing and vandalism is common in any high-stakes election, but Powell speculated that the reasons for the increase this year is people are more politically divided.

Stealing or vandalizing signs is a misdemeanor and could land someone in jail for up to 90 days and result in a fine of up to $1,000.

“It’s disappointing that someone would feel the need to steal signs,” said Smith, “but our supporters are eager to vote and show support regardless.”

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