Charlotte-area and SC party leaders react to firebombing of GOP - | WBTV Charlotte

Charlotte-area and SC party leaders react to firebombing of GOP office

(Photo courtesy of NCGOP) (Photo courtesy of NCGOP)
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Both Republican and Democratic Party leaders in Mecklenburg County are condemning an attack on a GOP office in Orange County over the weekend.

The building, campaign signs, and furniture were damaged after someone threw a bottle of flammable liquid through the window of the office in Hillsborough, NC.

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory called the incident an attack on democracy. Local, state, and federal investigators continue to look into who is responsible.

RELATED: McCrory calls firebombing of GOP site 'anarchy,' GOP head's email compromised

About two hours away in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County GOP Chair Claire Mahoney said the news hits close. She knows how busy offices can be just before the election. She is glad no one was hurt.

"I have friends that I've worked with for years in that part of North Carolina, who run that office, who volunteer in that office, could have very well been in that office," Mahoney said.

Mahoney said the party has been in touch with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police regarding security. Volunteers can come in and out of the building at various hours.

"We were already on heightened alert thanks to the riots that happened in Charlotte a few weeks ago, so now we have stepped up efforts even more," Mahoney said.

Mecklenburg County Democratic Party Chair Matt Newton also condemned the attack, adding that differences should never be resolved through violence and destruction.

"We resolve those differences through healthy dialogue and at the polls," Newton said.

Newton added that currently, there are no plans for upgraded security.

"I hope that this deplorable act is an isolated incident, we have full faith and confidence in the authorities," Newton said.

RELATED: Democratic effort to rebuild bombed GOP site in NC hits fund goal in 40 min

While safety is on the mind of both parties, Mahoney said she is not aware of any threats to party offices. 

Just across the state line in York County, South Carolina, party leaders there also spoke out against the attack on the North Carolina office.

"It's an act of terrorism, whoever did this was actively trying to suppress and ideology that they disagreed with. This is an act of oppression of thought," said Joel Hamilton, York County GOP Chair.

Hamilton is confident in the relationship with area law enforcement and did not see a need for any security upgrades. A spokesperson for Rock Hill Police told WBTV that no party had contacted them regarding security since the incident.

"I really don't want to get too hung up on worrying about security issues, when really at the end of the day, we need to be focused on moving forward," Hamilton said.

Jim Thompson, York County Democratic Party Chair was unavailable for an interview, but told WBTV he also condemns the attack and hopes investigators find whoever is responsible.

WBTV reached out to the York County Board of Elections and Voter Registration to see if there were any security upgrades planned. A spokesperson said:

"The York County Board of Voter Registration and Elections is aware of the recent events related to election office security.  The County Board takes security seriously and it is a high priority for this office. We’re taking all reasonable measures working with local public safety professionals to make an attack as unlikely as possible."

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