Party leaders react to arrests related to damaged Trump billboard

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County party leaders from both sides of the aisle are coming together to agree on one thing: They do not support vandalism of any kind.

A large and controversial Trump billboard has been replaced after being damaged on October 9.

Four were charged with the damage on Tuesday.

New Hanover County Republican Party Chair Will Knecht says he wasn’t excited or happy when the arrests were made, but rather disappointed. Though, he does emphasize he firmly believes the accused are innocent until proven guilty.

“I was surprised, to be honest with you, that who the individuals were and very disappointed in them as leaders in this community,” Knecht said.

The accused are members of the lowercase leaders, the group spearheading the summer protests on the steps of City Hall.

Knecht says we should all be able to disagree agreeably.

“We as Americans, we as residents of New Hanover County, we must demand of each other better,” Knecht said. “We must encourage better from each other”

New Hanover County Democratic Party Chair Richard Poole says they do not condone stealing or defacing political signs either.

“We don’t support that kind of activity,” Poole said. “One reason is we think it sets off a cycle of retribution that really doesn’t benefit anybody.”

While he doesn’t support the candidate, Poole still believes he has a right to campaign.

“I believe Donald Trump is a danger to our democracy, but we’re still a democratic country and he’s entitled to try to reach out to voters just like we are,” Poole said.

WWAY has reached out to the lowercase leaders for comment but has not yet heard back.

Categories: Local, New Hanover, Top Stories

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