A local resident running for Sutter County District 4 supervisor had multiple signs vandalized late Monday or early Tuesday.
Dollar-wise, the loss totaled some $2,500, said candidate Tej Maan.
Vandalism of property in California of $400 or more can be classified as either a felony or misdemeanor, with the prosecutor deciding the ultimate fate on how to classify the crime.
Maan estimates that about 20 of his 45 signs – most of which have been repaired – suffered damage, including his face being cut in half down the middle on a number of signs.
It’s a huge blow, Maan said, because his campaign is funded exclusively out of his own pocket.
“I’m just an everyday person and we were already hurting financially,” Maan said. “I wasn’t that aggressive in (campaign) financing. I was hurt (and) disappointed that someone would do this.”
Sutter County Sheriff’s Operations Commander Chad Niswonger said in a statement that SCSO received a call for service regarding vandalism of multiple campaigns for Tej Maan, which were cut down the middle.
“The signs were located throughout the county of Sutter,” Niswonger wrote. “At this time it is still being investigated and nobody is in custody for the vandalism.”
Maan said the report of vandalism occurred along Bridge Street and Walton Avenue; and Bridge and Tharp Road.
“Half of my signs were destroyed,” Maan said.
With the manner by which the signs were vandalized, Maan believes it to be a deliberate and planned attempt.
“Somebody had to have a big knife or sword to slice them,” Maan said.
He said he and his family spent a number of hours the following day restoring many of the signs.
“It was embarrassing to have the signs torn apart,” Maan said. “We were fixing the signs late into the night.”
Karm Bains, also running for the Dist. 4 seat, said vandalism involving campaign signs unfortunately is rather commonplace and can be a distraction from the bigger picture like a fast-approaching election.
“The most significant impact vandalism has on campaigns is that it distracts candidates from the important issues. Our team has had to replace countless campaign signs that have been stolen, defaced or have fallen down,” Bains wrote in a statement.
Bains doubts the vandalism is sanctioned by candidates.
“I don’t believe there has been a lot of animosity in the District 4 race. Tej and I, along with our wives, sat down for dinner just a few months ago,” Bains said. “I stopped at Stacy’s (Brookman – the third candidate for the Dist. 4 seat) house while I was out walking last week and had a conversation with his wife, Amy. I truly feel that we all want the best for each other and for Sutter County.”
Maan wants each of the three candidates to be judged on their record on March 3.
“My one message to voters is to look into the candidates’ background,” he said. “How are these people going to make your community better? We need somebody responsible with morals and ethics and who has the time it takes to dedicate yourself to the job.”
Anyone with information or video-related evidence pertaining to the report of vandalism on Maan’s campaign signs, can call the Sutter County Sheriff’s Office at 822-7307.
District 4 supervisor candidate Stacy Brookman was unavailable for comment by deadline.