Police in Middletown, Delaware, issued an arrest warrant Wednesday for the husband of Democratic state Sen. Bethany Hall-Long for allegedly stealing Republican campaign signs.
The warrant for Dana Armon Long was issued for theft under $1,500, a Class A misdemeanor.
The News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware, reports police responded to a call Wednesday that someone had stolen signs placed along a highway by state Republican volunteers.
An investigation into the incident revealed that signs that read "Fix the Economy! Vote Republican” had twice been stolen from the same location earlier in the week. Volunteers told police they replaced those signs Wednesday with new ones and waited to see if anyone would try and steal them again.
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Police said two Republican campaign workers saw “a vehicle pull off the roadway in front of the signs. An individual exited his vehicle and began removing the signs.”
The workers confronted the man, who police later identified as Long, and told him that taking the signs constituted theft. They recorded the incident on video and posted it online.
“Those aren’t your signs, bud,” one of the volunteers says in the video.
“There’s no name on these signs,” replies the man with an armful of signs.
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“My husband is the man depicted in the video,” Hall-Long said in a statement Wednesday, according to WCAU.
Hall-Long took office in 2009. She is currently locked in a race for her seat against Republican challenger John Marino, a retired New York City police officer.
“Sadly, this race has become tough and personal,” she said in her statement. “I was not aware that he (Long) had allowed his frustration over the campaign attacks to get the better of him. Of course I'm disappointed and wish that it had not happened.”
The Delaware Republican Party told WDEL it will seek legal action. The signs reportedly are the property of the state GOP.
Delaware’s Democratic Party Chairman John Daniello denounced the act, but said both parties have been guilty of the same crime in the past.
“The bottom line is that this is not a Republican or Democratic issue — this is a campaign issue happening by all parties, and it must end,” Daniello said. “Each campaign season, we deal with candidates removing their opponents’ signs. This behavior is absolutely unacceptable. There are more positive ways in which to support your candidate regardless of party affiliation.”
Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in prison and up to $2,300 in fines.
Long is expected to turn himself in to police Thursday.
Reached at his home Wednesday, he declined to comment on the case.
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