(Editors note: Attention to language in the second paragraph that some readers may find offensive.)
(Reuters) – A local North Carolina Republican headquarters was spray-painted with an anti-Donald Trump message early on Friday, the second time in a month that a party office in the state has been defaced.
A vandal sprayed the door and walls of the Alamance County Republican Party headquarters in Burlington with the words “Fuck Trump” and painted over the word “Republican” on a sign at the office at about 2 a.m. local time, according to Chris Verdeck, assistant police chief in the city.
No arrests have been made in the incident, which was caught on surveillance video footage, Verdeck said in a phone interview. The vandalism in Burlington, which is located about 20 miles east of Greensboro, occurred four days before the U.S. presidential election on Tuesday.
The contest between Republican candidate Trump and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton has been one of the most bitterly fought presidential campaigns in years.
Police released a still image from the surveillance video of the vandal, who appeared to be a young man with a light complexion and dark hair wearing a light-colored hooded sweatshirt. The man appeared to have acted alone, Verdeck said.
“This is deeply troubling to ourAlamance County GOP members and volunteers, but even more so, this is troubling for our nation,” Alamance County Republican Party Chairman Ben York said in a statement.
“It is my hope that we can be an example to the world that this behavior is unacceptable and it will not deter us from the noble responsibilitywe have to live andvote in the freedom that has been given to us.”
Last month, the Orange County Republican Party’s office in Hillsborough, which sits about 25 miles east of Burlington, was set on fire and a graffiti message left nearby said “leave town or else.”
Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Trump’s vice presidential running mate, called the Hillsborough incident “political terrorism.”
North Carolina is considered one of the battleground states in the election, with its likely outcome unknown, giving it the chance to play a decisive role in the Electoral College vote that ultimately decides the presidency.
Democratic establishments have also been targeted in the run-up to the election, which has been distinguished by vitriol and sometimes violent acts hurled between Republicans and Democrats.
Earlier this week, a historic black church in Greenville, Mississippi, was burned and spray-painted with “Vote Trump.”
Black churches in the U.S. South have long been a base of support for the Democratic Party.
(Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Leslie Adler)