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Breaking: Political graffiti investigated

MONROE - Police are actively investigating what appears to be an act of political vandalism in the form of graffiti sprayed on the side of a restaurant and neighboring business in which a candidate for Congress, Republican Charity Barry of Mineral Point, was scheduled to appear Wednesday night.

The vandals sprayed messages – at least one with a homophobic slur – on two buildings, Vince’s Pizza, where the event was supposed to be held and an adjacent store, Dollar General.

“I strongly condemn the intimidation and vandalism that took place in Monroe, WI last night,” said a statement from the Barry Campaign, issued hours after the offensive graffiti was discovered. “My team and I were planning an event at Vince’s Pizzeria in Monroe tonight. Now because of the cowardly acts of a few radical Democrats, the owners and workers of this small business must bear the cost and consequences of this selfish and craven attempt to bully a political rival.”

Barry is running against incumbent Democrat Mark Pocan for the 2nd Congressional seat. In response to the incident, the campaign moved its event to an undisclosed location, according to the campaign.

Police Chief Fred Kelly said police are investigating, adding that the incident is obviously something beyond the usual vandalism or gang-inspired graffiti they might encounter and likely happened overnight Tuesday.

“How this all fits together, we still don’t know,” said Kelly. “This seems to be some kind of message.”

The Barry campaign remained defiant in the face of the ordeal, saying “this act of weakness, this act of desperation will not stop my campaign or stay my message.”