LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) – Two candidates in a northern Colorado school board election are searching for the vandal who appears to be constantly targeting their signs.
Denise Montagu and Pam Howard are in a contentious race for the Thompson School Board, which has taken a mysterious turn with the repeated vandalism of their campaign signs.
“We also were fearful that we were being watched and that isn’t a very comforting feeling,” said Denise Montagu, who is currently the treasurer of the board that she’s been on since 2011.
“Every time the sign has been out front someone writes on it. And writes some negative messaging, about us,” Montagu said. “We had tried to ignore it and finally, it just keeps happening and it was happening so much we decided we wanted to know who this person was.”
After weeks of constant vandalism to campaign signs on the sidewalk outside their office, the pair decided to put up security cameras. They took the footage of the vandal to Loveland Police and were told that a summons could be issued for criminal mischief.
Montagu posted video and pictures of the vandalism on Facebook.
“We have had about 13,000 shares in not even 24 hours. And within a couple of hours we had the individual identified,” she said, but wouldn’t say who the man is. “We have contacted the police department to allow them to further their investigation into the issue.”
Both candidates said they don’t fear for their personal safety, but the vandalism goes beyond their downtown office.
“Someone trespassed at my house and vandalized, beat up my signs, left them in a nice crumpled pile, took off a few tree branches in the process,” Howard said.
Montagu has had a similar occurrence with the campaign signs on her lawn.
“I’ve had two neighbors in my neighborhood say ‘I was going to put up your sign’ but now I don’t want to.’ It’s sad the harassment and intimidation can work sometimes, but overall we have so many supporters,” Howard said.
The candidates say it’s unfortunate that the vandal can have an effect on the election, and hope to resolve whatever issue the suspect may have.
“I just wish these folks would come and talk to us because that’s what we do. We talk one on one with voters every day and we’re always willing to have conversations with them,” Howard said.
“I feel like it’s actually tragic that this is what we’re talking about when really I’m just trying to work on behalf of the students in this district,” said Montagu.
The election is mail-in only and ballots will be sent out in two weeks. The outcome will be determined in one month.
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.