Mitt Romney political signs defaced in Indian River County, repairs continue amid vandalism

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Vandals with sharp knives continue taking swipes at some of the 50 large-sized Romney -Ryan campaign signs the county Republican Party posted at commercial locations on main roads in the past month.

Most are in the Vero Beach area.

The Indian River County Republican Party has made duct tape repairs until the seven damaged sign are replaced with new ones.

Party officials are considering hiring off-duty police officers to watch, said Pam Richardson with the party's main office in the 800 block of U.S. 1 in Vero Beach.

Law enforcement hasn't been able to find who is doing the harm to the plastic signs that are 4 feet by 2½ feet in size, which are larger than yard signs. "It (the cutting and damage) is mean and childish," Richardson said Thursday. Her party is are calling on people to end the defacing — cutting or knocking down — in a county that is heavily Republican.

Each sign costs about $15, said volunteer Bernie Ceilley, who is posting and repairing the signs. The signs are installed at the request of business owners and are in an area extending from County Road 512 on the north to Oslo Road south of Vero Beach.

They are along heavily traveled roads including U.S. 1 and State Road 60. Defacing began about a week after the campaign displays went up.

On Thursday, businesswoman Susan Jursik found her sign defaced for the second time in a week at the Kidz Closet at U.S. 1 and Miracle Mile in Vero Beach.

Jursik said this is the first time in her life she put up a campaign sign. "We are raising our children to stand up for what they believe in," she said. "I follow all the rules and ordinances."

But someone cut a hole in the sign, and once again a Republican Party volunteer repaired it.

Richardson calls for understanding from people who see the repaired signs. "We keep taping them back up," she said.

Someone donated $450 to buy new signs to replace the damaged ones. Eventually, 75 signs will be posted throughout the county.

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