Swastikas slapped on St. Cloud campaign signs

- St. Cloud Police are investigating who defaced several campaign signs with swastika stickers. Vandals were bold enough to place stickers on signs at the St. Cloud Civic Center polling station.

 

"To have my wife and I who are Jewish decent to be able to see this swastika sign is complete and utterly disrespectful." Justin Taormino, whose wife Amanda is running for City Council, said. "Waking up this morning to find this symbol on my wife's campaign signs is not right. You can see that it's four T's for Trump, but they're elongated for a reason. It's so that the white interior of this sign shows a swastika sticker."

 

The vandals also hit the signs of Osceola County Commissioner Fred Hawkins Jr.

 

"Ms Taramino, myself, Trump and Malcomb Thompson's signs were all stickers with the same sign in sticker form and placed on our campaign signs."

 

Police were notified of the stickers and spent time going sign to sign peeling the stickers off. Candidates say there's no mistaking the message here,

 

"It's a swastika, it's definitely hatred,” Hawkins said. “It broke my heart that small town St. Cloud and Osceola County in general has come to this, the negative campaigning, It's just not representative of this area or anything I've ever seen running for office."

 

While the candidates with signs defaced are all Republican, Taormino is running in a non-partisan race.

 

"Personally I think it's a hate crime,” Taormino said. “Not only is it an anti-Trump sign, which we do not associate with any national campaign. We are running local and we are focusing on local."

 

The vandalism comes just five days after two Trump supporters discovered someone painted swastikas on their property, including their garage, sidewalk and campaign sign.

 

Anyone with information on the swastika stickers should contact the St. Cloud Police Department at (407) 891-6700. 

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