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Campaign sign for Jewish candidate in Arizona state senate race vandalized with swastika

Campaign sign for Jewish candidate in Arizona state senate race vandalized with swastika
Posted at 6:43 AM, Oct 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-27 12:26:34-04

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — An Arizona legislative candidate is saddened and embarrassed after one of his political signs was vandalized with anti-Semitic markings.

Seth Blattman, who is Jewish, is running as a Democrat to represent Legislative District 23 in the Arizona State Senate. On Friday, he posted a picture on Twitter showing a campaign sign of his that had been vandalized with a swastika and the word "killer."

"I have a great aunt who survived the Holocaust. She was a kid. I also had family who died in the Holocaust," Blattman said. "For Jewish people, it's a little special. It means hate, but directed at you. It's the worst thing you could show or say to a Jewish person."

Blattman reported the markings to Scottsdale police, who asked him to leave the sign up so police could conduct their investigation. He plans to take it down as soon as possible.

"It's sad to see, and it doesn't make you feel safe either," Blattman said. "It's embarrassing, you know, and it's such a terrible symbol I didn't want it out there. I wanted to cover it up."

"Even after doing this for 13 years, I'm still shocked when I see something like this," said Tammy Gillies, Interim Director at the Anti-Defamation League in Arizona. "We would like to see a lot more civil discourse. We can certainly disagree on the issues. Nobody has to agree, and that's why there's so many candidates in different areas. We need to lead by example."

Blattman's Republican opponent, Michelle Ugenti-Rita, did not respond to questions about whether she condemned the anti-Semitic vandalism to Blattman's sign. Ugenti-Rita is a strong supporter of President Donald Trump, and the president's failure to condemn anti-Semitic behavior has drawn widespread criticism throughout his first term.

This story was originally published by Adam Waltz on KNXV in Phoenix.