A candidate for Bryan County office caught someone in the act of vandalizing one of her campaign signs Wednesday and has filed a report with the Durant Police Department.
Prudy Sullivan, a Democratic candidate for county treasurer, told The Democrat she had obtained permission from the property owner to put up her sign along Highway 78 past Durant’s Leonard Morgan Park. After signs at this particular location had been tampered with or taken on several occasions, Sullivan said she was allowed by the property owner to put up a “game camera” on a tree next to the fence.
The latest incident was captured on that camera. Images shared with The Democrat show a full-size Ford pickup truck backing over the sign held up by a T-post and also the adult male suspect standing outside the vehicle.
Sullivan saw the following day that the suspect had posted three photos on his Facebook page that depicted opponent Nancy Connor’s sign on the ground beside the standing, intact Sullivan sign; Sullivan’s sign lying on a side road with muddy tire tracks going across it; and the Sullivan sign erected near the highway, partially burned, with a profane message painted on it, and the Conner sign posted
Sullivan took a “screen capture” of the post, which has since been deleted, that also stated: “Dear Prudy Sullivan campaign, … I apologize for my profanity but I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to take down somebody’s sign at MY place. Thank you for your understanding”.
Sullivan told The Democrat that the property owner and the suspect have the same last name, but it is not the suspect’s property.
“I have a signed statement from the landowner … that states I was granted permission to put a sign up and my opponent was not,” Sullivan said. “A family relative of the landowner had taken my opponent’s sign down with no harm or damage to the sign. In the picture with my sign up and her sign laying on the ground, you can see that no damage was done.
“I have always gotten permission from the landowner before placing a campaign sign on anyone’s property. I also believe that all candidates should run a clean campaign and that all of their supporters should respect other candidate’s property.”
Her opponent and current county treasurer Nancy Conner said Friday afternoon that she thinks the sign vandalism is “awful,” and she’s seen the Facebook post and photos from the camera via a television news report but didn’t recognize the suspect or vehicle.
“I don’t know the man from Adam,” Conner said. “He’s not attached to my campaign.”
Conner said she would never condone such an act, which she described as “over the top.”
Conner explained what she did know about the scene, stating that somebody had called her son-in-law, and told him he was the landowner and wanted Conner’s sign there. Conner said she was told that there wasn’t a Sullivan sign in sight when her representatives put up the sign that was photographed a few days later on the ground.
Contact Regina Phillips at (580) 924-4388 or on Twitter @NewspaperRegina.