Blaise Smith, a candidate for St. Mary Parish Sheriff, reports on his campaign’s Facebook page that his signs have been destroyed.
“What a shame, it may be possible for a sign to blow down occasionally due to the weather,” Smith says, with a photo of a burned campaign sign. “This however is no accident. There are some who take this campaign thing very seriously and are willing to light political signs on fire to prove their point.”
If anyone has information about the incidents, he’s asking them to call him.
In an interview, Smith told us that eight of his signs have simply disappeared, and others have been burnt, hacked with a cane knife and smashed with a bat.
Smith said he’s obtained permission before placing any of his signs, so he knows it’s not a landowner removing the signs.
“I have no idea who is doing this,” he said. “Obviously, somebody doesn’t want me to run for sheriff.”
Smith ran for sheriff in the last cycle, narrowly missing a run-off with former Sheriff Mark Hebert, who retired recently because of an illness in his family. Scott Anslum, a long-time deputy, was appointed interim sheriff. The election this fall will fill the spot permanently.
Smith said he did have some vandalism on his signs in the last election, but nothing like this. He said there has been more vandalism so far – even though qualifying hasn’t happened yet – than in the entire last election.
If anyone is vandalizing the signs, which are pretty expensive, in hopes that Smith won’t run they’re out of luck, he said.
“I’m not going to stop, this won’t deter me,” he said. “This will just make me a little stronger.”