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Eastern Shore campaign sign vandalism investigated by Maryland State Police

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Posted at 4:46 PM, Oct 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-31 16:47:54-04

The vandalism of dozens of campaign signs in Caroline County is being investigated by Maryland State Police, the agency said Wednesday.

Troopers and members of the Maryland State Police Crime lab are collecting evidence throughout the county. Someone placed "corrupt" stickers on more than 30 official candidate signs for Caroline County Circuit Court Judge Jonathan Newell, the police's early investigation said.

When reached for comment, Newell said what was most upsetting was the premeditated nature of the of the vandalism. Someone needed to purchase the stickers or get them specially printed, he said, "it's not like some teenagers were sitting around on Mischief Night and said, 'let's go mess up campaign signs.'"

He said more than 50 signs had been damaged.

Newell is defending a seat he was appointed to by Governor Larry Hogan two years ago. Prior to his role as a judge, he was the elected State's Attorney for the county for 14 years, Newell said. Though the position is considered nonpartisan, Newell is a Republican, having won the primary in June.

Newell is competing with Dennis Farina in the race for Circuit Court Judge.

Dealing with the vandalism is an inconvenience as Newell continues handling his normal judicial docket as a judge and approaches the last few days of campaigning prior to the election, but he did not seem too upset or worried.

"We're busy just pulling [the stickers] off and trying to touch up the signs wherever their damaged," Newell said. "Got a few other things to do."

Anyone with information should contact the Easton Barrack at 410-819-4747.