Campaign signs fall victim to vandals

Published 12:06 am Saturday, August 15, 2015

NATCHEZ — Whoever ultimately wins the Adams County Sheriff’s Office election already has a mystery to solve — who stole or vandalized their election signs?

Both of the remaining Democratic candidates in the race, Travis Patten and Randy Freeman, said their outdoor election advertisements have been subject to vandalism.

Perhaps one of the most visually dramatic vandalism — and most dangerous to the general welfare of residents in the area — occurred early Friday morning, when deputies responded to a report of a campaign sign that had been set ablaze.

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According to an Adams County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, when a deputy arrived in the area, he found one of Patten’s signs engulfed in flames, which had spread to the ground surrounding the sign.

The county is under a burn ban because of dry conditions, and the deputy used his fire extinguisher to put out the blaze. The deputy reported smelling gasoline in the area of the fire, the spokesperson said.

Patten said someone has been stealing his signs for some time.

“I have never complained about it, but this one was a little more than stealing signs,” he said.

“But my focus is on connecting our communities. I know for a fact we have good people here in Adams County, and I want to publicly denounce dirty politics, and my proposal is for my opponent to do the same. My goal is to be a positive sheriff for Adams County, including the person who burned up my sign.”

Freeman said no one on his campaign team would have done something like the sign burning.

“I don’t hang around and I don’t hire people like that, and we have run a good, clean race so far,” he said. “We are going to continue to run a good, clean race.”

Vandals have likewise targeted the Freeman campaign, and thieves stole an ice chest full of drinks from a truck outside his campaign headquarters, he said.

“I have probably had 20 signs destroyed or missing,” he said. “We have had numerous vandalisms, and I wish they would catch whoever it was doing them.”