Someone drew graffiti on a portrait of former President Ronald Reagan during a break-in reported this week at the Wayne County Republican Party headquarters in Goldsboro.
The vandal kicked in a door to the downtown Goldsboro building and defaced an image of Reagan sporting a cowboy hat, which was part of a wall mural that also includes the North Carolina flag, elephants and an image of the World Trade Center burning on Sept. 11, 2001.
Wayne County GOP Chairman Brent Heath said the intruder also “scratched out the word ‘Republican’ ” in the mural and replaced it with a misspelled variation of an offensive slur used to describe gay people. The person also wrote “(Expletive) Trump and da opps,” which can be a slang term to describe the police.
Heath said nothing appears to have been stolen, and nothing other than the mural appears to be damaged. Police are investigating. “It appears to me that their motive was to get in and deface that mural,” he said.
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The mural has been in place for about a decade and is a popular spot for photos. Republicans hope to restore it.
“I have talked to the lady who did it originally, and she’s going to see what she can do,” Heath said Friday.
Several Republican Party offices around North Carolina have been damaged this year. In October, someone firebombed the Orange County Republican headquarters in Hillsborough. Banners celebrating Donald Trump’s victory were slashed at the N.C. Republican Party’s headquarters in the days after the election. And the Alamance County Republican Party’s building was defaced with profane graffiti shortly before Election Day.
No arrests have been made in those incidents.
NC GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse issued a statement Thursday evening condemning the incidents.
“These are not acts of speech, they are acts of destruction and violence,” Woodhouse said. “Nothing good can possibly come from these events, and they must be condemned. We continue to urge our local offices across the state to be in contact with local law enforcement to assist with protection of NC GOP volunteers and property.”