An online campaign reportedly set up by a group of Democrats to help rebuild the firebombed Republican Party headquarters in Orange County met and surpassed its $10,000 goal in only 40 minutes.
The GoFundMe account had raised $13,117 as of Monday morning.
It was set up by a group of Democrats who said they hoped to make a statement against such tactics, which the state’s GOP leaders have called “political terrorism.” Leaders of both parties nationwide have condemned the burning.
Hillsborough police said somebody threw a bottle of flammable liquid through the window of Orange County’s GOP headquarters on Sunday, setting campaign signs, supplies and furniture ablaze before burning itself out. A swastika and “Nazi Republicans get out of town or else” were spray painted on the side of an adjacent building.
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Democrats behind the GoFundMe page referred to the spray-painted message as “an abhorrent threat.” The group said its online campaign is aimed at helping the office reopen as soon as possible. The campaign is not an official effort of the Democratic Party, but rather the work of a group of supportive Democrats.
“Until an investigation is undertaken, we cannot know who did this or why. No matter the result, this is not how Americans resolve their differences. We talk, we argue, sometimes we march, and most of all we vote. We do not resort to violence by individuals or by mobs,” said a message on the GoFundMe account.
“So, let’s all pitch in, no matter what your party affiliation, and get that office open again quickly.”
Organizers called the campaign effort “a moment for graciousness, not fractiousness.”
“I’m a lifelong Democrat who reviles violence and believes in fair play,” posted Anna-Maria Marshall on the campaign page. “Hope that the people who did this are brought to justice.”
Added donor Lori Hyrup: “For the people helping, this isn't about political affiliation. It’s about people helping people because that is what America’s about. It’s what we’ve always been about.”
Wrote Seamus Kenney: “Who knows who did this? It’s probably some restless teens with nothing to do, who could not care about Dem or Rep politics.”
Orange County, where the fire bombing took place, is home of the University of North Carolina in nearby Chapel Hill. The county is overwhelmingly Democratic, with Democrats and independents outnumbering Republicans 5-1.
Hillsborough police and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were continuing to investigate.