The local Republican Party headquarters in Orange County, North Carolina burned down Saturday night after someone chucked a molotov cocktail through the building’s front window.
The incident occurred sometime between 9 p.m. Saturday night and Sunday morning. Although no one died or sustained injuries during the incident, the property damage from the fire was extensive and torched the building’s interior to a crisp. So far, no suspects have been found.
In addition, the perpetrator(s) spray-painted a swastika near the headquarters, as well as a warning to local Republicans that read “Nazi Republicans leave town or else.”
Clearly, the attack was politically motivated. Indeed, the county is predominantly Democratic, with independents and Democrats outnumbering Republicans there by a margin of 5-1.
According to the Charlotte Observer, one GOP official went as far as calling the act “political terrorism,” which North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory followed by saying it was “an attack on our democracy.”
Both presidential candidates got into the action as well, with Hillary Clinton denouncing the attack as “horrific and unacceptable,” adding that she was “very grateful that everyone is safe.” Trump, for his part, stated that the “animals representing Hillary Clinton and Dems in North Carolina just firebombed our office in Orange County because we are winning.”
“This highly disturbing act goes far beyond vandalizing property,” nearby Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens added. “It willfully threatens our community’s safety via fire, and its hateful message undermines decency, respect and integrity in civic participation.”
— Dallas Woodhouse (@DallasWoodhouse) October 16, 2016
“The office itself is a total loss,” said Dallas Woodhouse, the North Carolina Republican Party’s executive director. “The only thing important to us is that nobody was killed, and they very well could have been. This is a horrific, horrific act of political terrorism, one that we will not succumb to and one that we will answer.”
A separate incident occurred in Bangor, Maine on Saturday as well, where vandals defaced at least 20 vehicles with spray paint at a Trump rally. And on Friday, authorities arrested three domestic terrorists — one of whom was publicly a Trump supporter — for planning to blow up a mosque in Garden City, Kansas.
The firebombing of a local political headquarters in Orange County is clearly an attack on our democracy. pic.twitter.com/fr9FWGQUoG
— Pat McCrory (@PatMcCroryNC) October 16, 2016
— Kami Mueller (@kamimueller) October 16, 2016