One local business man started his Friday with a series of phone calls telling him that the campaign signs on his property had swastikas all over them.
Now candidates, voters, and even police are disturbed by the Anti-Semitic symbols left on the political signs for 109th Assembly District Candidate Bill McCarthy.
Guilderland Police tell FOX23 News they're taking the incident very seriously.
And with only six days left until the primary 109th Assembly District Candidate William McCarthy is disappointed and upset about the graffiti.
Authorities believe the large McCarthy sign was destroyed at some point between Thursday night and Friday morning.
"All I know is that a swastika is clearly something that we don't tolerate," Guilderland homeowner Jim Bennett said.
And the, sturdy, five-foot long billboards are no run of the mill campaign signs.
Bennett says he paid to have them custom made, and delivered to his home weeks ago.
Bennett is particularly passionate about this political race because he's McCarthy's uncle.
The business owner got word this morning that his signs had been covered with swastikas.
"We actually got several calls from people who had driven by, one called one of my employees at work. It really makes you wonder about the person who put it up. They must have some real issues," he said.
Bennett says once he found out what happened, he immediately went home, laid the signs down on the ground so no one would see them, and called Guilderland Police.
"Clearly, if it were just some graffiti, we could have left the signs up, but a swastika, in the United States? It's not good. It forced the signs down," he said.
Now, Guilderland Police are asking for your help to figure out who spray painted the large swastikas on the campaign signs.
Captain Curtis Cox said, "If anyone has any information, they should give us a call."
"Because it's a swastika, perhaps takes it in a different light because of how offensive that can be and the people are very concerned about that, we're concerned about that," Cox said.
He says the department has caught and prosecuted other vandals in town, and that this type of activity will not be tolerated in Guilderland.
"No community is exempt from people doing this to other people's property. The message that we would send is that it's illegal to damage other people's property, whether it's painting swastikas or painting any type of a symbol, or destroying anybody's property, it's a crime. And if the individual, or individuals are apprehended, they will be prosecuted," Cox said.
Cox says anyone alleged to have been involved in the case could eventually be charged with anything from criminal mischief, all the way to a hate crime, but that the charges are still unclear because the investigation is ongoing.
He added, "We don't really know the purpose as to why somebody would do that. As for whether this was a hate crime, it just sometimes depends on the motivation behind it, whether it's a hate crime, or whether it's just somebody that's just picking a symbol out of the air, and deciding to put it on there. And sometimes you really don't know that unless you can speak to the person to find out what their motivation was."
While police continue their investigation, Bennett doesn't think he'll ever know who did the damage.
But, Bennett says, between this graffiti incident, and the number of complaints he's been aware have been made regarding the 'size of the signs' that have been filed with the Village of Voorheesville, the town of Guilderland and New York Department of Transportation, he's quite sure the perp was a politico.
"I think they were having a 'campaign against the signs' because they were big signs, and they were for my nephew, and he did well in a debate last night," Bennet said.
The candidate himself was not pleased with news of the incident.
In a statement emailed to FOX23 News McCarthy said, "There is simply no place for this kind of hate in our community, in our political process or in our country - particularly on the eve of the Jewish high holy days. I know that my fellow candidates running to represent the 109th Assembly District would agree with me in strongly denouncing this vile act as we run campaigns based on ideas and service to the public. And as a fifth generation son of the Capital Region, I know this act is not representative of our community, where neighbors of all faiths live together in mutual respect."
If you have any information about who may have defaced the signs, call Guilderland Police at, (518) 356-1501.