The presidential election season can be a passionate, and often heated time of the year. In some parts of Bay county some individuals are taking out their political frustrations on campaign signs.
Whether you like them or not campaign signs are here to stay, at least until November. However, some are not waiting to voice their displeasure with the candidates.
Tony Johnson, owner of Mr. Surfs on Thomas Drive first noticed the vandalism several weeks ago at the intersection of North Lagoon and Joan Ave
"There were three big signs, they had all been washed out with gray paint," Johnson said.
Weeks later, it seems the same vandals targeted several Steve Southerland signs Johnson placed outside his business.
"I was walking out to get the mail about two days ago and I looked over, and every one of our signs had been crossed out," Johnson said.
Johnson put the pictures of the damage on Facebook, hoping that someone would come forward or be caught. If they did, their punishment would be based on the damage. Less than $,1000 gets you misdemeanor criminal mischief. Damage amounting to $1,000 or more gets you a felony.
"I'd like to see them with the road crews, picking up paper and trash and hopefully learning a lesson," said resident Bill Casteel.
Residents we spoke to say the political mud - or in this case, paint slinging - needs to come to an end.
"I look at a sign as a message, and when you deface a sign...to me that's like interfering with someone's freedom of speech," Casteel said.
"I just don't think it's appropriate," resident Elizabeth Hernandez. "I think we should have a clean campaign and this is not clean whatsoever."
News 13 reached out to the Romney and Obama campaign offices, but neither us gave an official comment on the incidents.