Glenn McCall and his York County Republican Party want to teach voters a little history lesson before election day.
Overnight Saturday, vandals spray-painted “Republican means slavery” on the door of the party's Rock Hill headquarters.
McCall, the first African American to chair the York County party, said Sunday he has no plans to remove the graffiti.
“We want to show folks we won't be intimidated,” McCall said. “And we want to show whoever painted that stuff up there that they don't understand history. The Republican Party came out of the abolitionist movement.”
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And Abraham Lincoln, who freed slaves with his Emancipation Proclamation, was a Republican, he added.
The vandals also removed 45 candidate signs from the front of headquarters – a yellow two-story house on busy Oakland Avenue near Winthrop University – and defaced a large banner with a photo of Republican presidential nominee John McCain, spray-painting the eyes.
McCall said the incident took place between closing time, 8:30 p.m. Friday, and Saturday morning, when volunteers found the graffiti.
Police were investigating Sunday, but had no leads.
The incident comes at a time when the presidential candidates are taking jabs at each other. Last week, McCain gave a blistering speech that asked: “Who is Barack Obama?” He charged that Obama was not truthful and couldn't be trusted – as supporters hurled insults at Obama.
McCall said he doesn't know if the vandals were pranksters, but suspects that they are Obama supporters, making a political statement because the race nationally “is tighter than the polls show.”
He doesn't think it was racially charged.
“I just feel we've come past that, especially with Sen. Obama winning the nomination for the Democrats,” McCall said. “That really shows that race doesn't matter in this election. It's about ideas. Yes, it's hurtful. But silly things happen.”
Jim Watkins, York County Democratic Party chair, condemned the incident and hoped the culprits would be caught and punished. “This kind of thing has absolutely no place in our public discourse about important issues in this election,” he said. “I'm just saddened by the whole thing.”