The Republican Party of Fayette County’s headquarters on Southland Drive was vandalized either late Friday or early Saturday by someone who painted “Nazi scum” and “Die Nazi!” across the office’s front windows and door.
It was the second act of vandalism at the office since Republican President Donald Trump’s election last November, when someone smashed the glass door with a small metal dumbbell.
State and local GOP officials swiftly said that they don’t blame the Democratic Party for the malicious acts.
There is an element of our society right now that is coming unglued, that is coming unhinged, and it is really unfortunate. We need to be steering the conversation back to policy and away from this hateful rhetoric.
Kentucky Republican Party sokesman Tres Watson
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“I think you’ve got people on the extremes on both sides in terms of the kind of rhetoric we’re seeing out there,” said Gary McCollum, Fayette County chairman for the Republican Party, who spent his Saturday afternoon cleaning the windows with solvent. “I don’t think this is representative of most people on the left.”
Kentucky Republican Party spokesman Tres Watson said: “These are not the actions of the Democrats. They may associate themselves with the left, but I can assure you the Kentucky Democratic Party and the Fayette County Democratic Party do not associate themselves with them.
“There is an element of our society right now that is coming unglued, that is coming unhinged, and it is really unfortunate. We need to be steering the conversation back to policy and away from this hateful rhetoric,” Watson added.
The Kentucky Democratic Party condemned the vandalism in a prepared statement.
“The Kentucky Democratic Party cannot condone the defacing or destruction of property such as what has occurred at the Fayette County Republican Party office. We denounce hate and racism, but we cannot expect to eradicate it through violent or destructive behavior,” the party said.
Both acts of vandalism at the GOP headquarters have been reported to Lexington police, McCollum said.
Racial and political tensions have heightened recently because of violent protests in defense of Confederate monuments by white nationalists, including some self-identified Nazis, and sympathetic remarks Trump made about the protesters. Lexington and other cities are struggling with how to respond to the public safety threat posed by white nationalists if they decide to march locally.