A political sign in support of the Biden-Harris Democratic presidential ticket was found vandalized on Saturday, Oct. 3. The four-foot by five-foot sign had been spray painted and uprooted, according to Madeline Ross, recording secretary of the Cherokee County Democratic Club.
The sign had been placed, with permission, the previous Thursday at the intersection of SH 204 and Loop 456 in Jacksonville. Although an effort was made to remove the spray paint, no treatment was found to effectively do so. The Biden-Harris sign was put back into place despite the still visible spray-painted message.
“I do know a number of Republicans here in the county and I couldn’t imagine them doing that kind of stuff,” Ross said.
When she attempted to contact John Earle, Cherokee County Republican party chair, she was initially unable to reach him.
“It’s not a huge thing,” Ross said. “All we have to do is ask people to treat each other’s signs with courtesy.”
Once Ross and Earle made contact, Ross stated the two had a discussion which she described as “amicable” and “warm.” She stated they both agreed during the call that supporters should know the parties take a “dim view of vandalism” and it is “unacceptable.”
Earle said he was unaware of the sign or any vandalism of it until he was contacted by Ross.
“I told her that we can’t control everybody, but the Republican Party, as a whole, doesn’t support vandalism,” Earle said.
He also noted that he informed Ross he had received “multiple calls about Trump signs being stolen.”
Although theft and defacing a political sign on private property are misdemeanors in Texas, neither party wanted to involve the police, according to Ross.
Ross said she was “satisfied with the overall tone and the outcome of the call” and simply wants people to be able to “disagree agreeably.”
Earle, too, said Ross was a “very nice lady” with whom he had a “civil conversation.”
“They have just as much right” to post signs, Earle said. “We don’t support vandalism or tampering with signs.”