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After Attack On N.C. GOP Office, Politicians Decry 'Attack On Our Democracy'

A burned couch rests next to warped campaign signs at the Orange County Republican Headquarters in Hillsborough, N.C.
Jonathan Drew
A burned couch rests next to warped campaign signs at the Orange County Republican Headquarters in Hillsborough, N.C.

Overnight Saturday, an apparent firebomb burned through the Republican Party headquarters in North Carolina's Orange County. A bottle of flammable liquid was thrown through one of the building's windows, igniting a four-room fire and leaving behind blackened walls and charred campaign posters — but no casualties. No one was injured in the attack.

Now, a day after the destruction in Hillsborough, N.C., politicians on both sides of the aisle are decrying the incident.

"The firebombing of a local political headquarters in Orange County is clearly an attack on our democracy," North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said Sunday in a statement. "Violence has no place in our society — but especially in our elections."

McCrory, a Republican, promised to do everything possible to aid in the investigation by local authorities. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is also investigating the incident, according to the Charlotte Observer.

In a tweet, the North Carolina Republican Party showed the scale of the damage inside the headquarters, depicting the charred furniture and ash strewn within.

And besides the wreckage from the fire, incendiary words were scrawled in graffiti on a nearby wall. Jeff Tiberii of member station WUNC reports: "Vandals also spray-painted a swastika and the words 'Nazi Republicans, get out of town or else' on an adjacent building."

The defacement and destruction was reported on Sunday morning, according to The New York Times.

"Our people are really shaken to their core by this," Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the state Republican Party, tells Tiberii. "This is an act of political terrorism."

On Sunday afternoon, both major-party presidential nominees took to Twitter to respond to the attack — albeit in different ways.

A tweet from Hillary Clinton's account called the attack "horrific and unacceptable," expressing gratitude "that everyone is safe." And, David Weinberger, a Democratic voter, launched a crowdfunding campaign to help fix the damage caused by the attack.

Donald Trump, for his part, tweeted that the "animals representing Hillary Clinton and Dems in North Carolina just firebombed our office in Orange County because we are winning."

Authorities have not released information on potential suspects.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Colin Dwyer covers breaking news for NPR. He reports on a wide array of subjects — from politics in Latin America and the Middle East, to the latest developments in sports and scientific research.
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