by WorldTribune Staff, October 17, 2016
The Oct. 16 firebombing of Republican party headquarters in Orange County, North Carolina and vandalizing of an adjacent building with the words “Nazi Republicans leave town or else” was “an attack on our democracy,” North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said.
“Violence has no place in our society – but especially in our elections. … I will use every resource as governor to assist local authorities in this investigation,” McCrory said of the attack in the town of Hillsborough.
Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens called the incident an “act of political terrorism. This highly disturbing act goes far beyond vandalizing property. It willfully threatens our community’s safety, and its hateful message undermines decency, respect and integrity in civic participation.”
Orange County is overwhelmingly Democratic. Democrats and independents outnumber Republicans 5-1.
The GOP headquarters is located in the strip mall Shops at Daniel Boone, and the graffiti was left outside Balloons Above Orange a few doors down.
The owner of the balloon shop, Bennie Sparrow, said she was on her way to church when she saw the “hateful” message. She believes her business was targeted because it is a “good billboard to aim towards the Republicans.”
She told the Dailymail.com: “I’m not afraid to go into work tomorrow but I don’t feel quite as secure as I did before. This is the world we live in.”
Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the state’s GOP, said the Orange County office was “a total loss.”
“Whether the bomb was meant to kill, destroy property or intimidate voters, everyone in this country should be free to express their political viewpoints without fear for their own safety,” Woodhouse said. “We will be requesting additional security at all Republican Party offices and events between now and Election Day to ensure the safety of our activists, volunteers, and supporters.”
Patsy Keever, the state’s Democratic Party chair, said he was “appalled that this would happen, certainly we don’t need violence for any reason. Clearly this is outrageous that anybody would do this kind of destruction to either party’s buildings or people.”
Bob Randall, who helped with the clean-up effort at the building, said he believes that the bombing was an act of political terrorism and that it would get people angry and motivated to vote Republican.
“The idea is to intimidate us, to make us crawl back in the shadows,” he said. “But I think it’s going to backfire on them.”
Meanwhile, CNN’s Brian Stelter blamed the attack on what he called Trump’s “overheated rhetoric”.
“We need to have the temperature come down on all sides right now,” he said. “Unfortunately, Donald Trump is the lead in terms of raising the temperature at this moment in time.”