An African-American congressional candidate in Florida recently had one of her campaign signs vandalized in what appears to be a racially motivated incident.
Gloreatha “Glo” Scurry-Smith, a Republican, said she is not spending much time worrying about the message the vandal was trying to send. She is focused on winning a late-August primary against her GOP opponent Thuy Lowe. The winner of that race will face off against longtime incumbent, Democratic Rep. Corinne Brown of Florida’s 5th Congressional District.
Scurry-Smith said her husband discovered the defaced sign on the outskirts of Jacksonville, Florida, just off of Interstate 10. The vandals had used white spray paint to meticulously cover Scurry-Smith’s face while outlining her eyes and mouth — an obvious attempt to make her appear white.
“It was a little hurtful, but honestly I don't know anyone's motive or reasoning for doing such a thing,” Scurry-Smith told WJXT in Jacksonville. “We've not spent a lot of time thinking about the whys and who did it. We want to leave that up to law enforcement to check it out and do their investigation and stay focused on our campaign.”
Her primary opponent denounced the vandalism.
"I was shocked by this,” Lowe told the National Review. “There have been some comments out there that this may have been caused by bigotry. This is a message that she is an African-American woman who is a Republican and therefore has a white point of view.”
Lowe speculated that supporters of Corinne Brown might have been behind the vandalism but added that her GOP opponent “is well respected in the conservative community.”
Scurry-Smith, who was once an aide to Florida Gov. Rick Scott, said she has tried to draw strength from past leaders and remains focused on ousting Brown from her seat in November.
“Throughout this entire incident, I go back to Marin Luther King’s comment that we look forward to a time when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” she said.
“I’ve got too much work to focus on to be bothering with things like this,” Scurry-Smith added. “People are ready for a change. Corinne Brown has been there for more than 20 years.”
Brown’s office declined to comment on the incident.