A dangerous sign of just how contentious the presidential election has become: Someone torched a campaign sign displayed in front of a Leesburg, Va., home.
The front yard of Jack and Libby Stevens on South Broad Street is a prime visibility spot for political signs. The couple’s signs have been stolen in the past but never set on fire as a sign for Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was about 2 a.m. Monday.
“The dogs were barking so I came downstairs and looked out my front window and there’s a gentleman standing on the front porch and I looked past him to see the sign in a fireball in my front yard," she said.
Her first thought was that the sign was deliberately set on fire.
”It’s one thing to spray-paint a sign or slash it or steal it,” she said. “It’s another to set it on fire. That’s wrong.”
“Do to the nature of the call, we did turn the case over to the fire marshal’s office for Loudoun County,” Leesburg Police Officer Chris Tidmore said.
Although the Leesburg incident is the most serious, almost every jurisdiction in Maryland, Virginia and D.C. has reported vandalism to political signs.
Neighbor and Democratic Virginia State Sen. Mark Herring offered his support to the couple and said he, too, is looking forward to the end of what seems like an especially rancorous election year.
“I’m hopeful that very soon we can work toward coming together as a nation and mend some fences and heal some wounds and work harder toward coming together,” he said.
A new sign has been placed in the yard.