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Vandals target MoCo Republican Party HQ with signs calling on patriots to take back nation

Vandals target MoCo Republican Party HQ with signs calling on patriots to take nation back (Kevin Lewis/ABC7)

Members of the Montgomery County Republican Party believe they are the victims of a hate crime.

Around 1 p.m. Sunday, volunteer Brad Botwin arrived at the party's modest headquarter offices along Crabbs Branch Road in Rockville. Four illustrated flyers taped to the front door and façade caught him by surprise.

“They put this on like this it was wallpaper, so it’s really put on there to stay. It’s now part of our front door," Botwin stated.

One flyer included a map of the United States accompanied by the words "NOT STOLEN, CONQUERED." Another called on "PATRIOTS!" to "be among those who will reconquer their birthright, and forge a new America."

Each of the flyers made reference to the political group, 'Patriot Front.' Although little is known about the group, its website highlights quotes from historical figures including Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee. Its Twitter account includes a photo of masked members protesting on the University of Texas at Austin campus while holding burning torches and American flags.

“As a Jew, I don’t like seeing things like this on the door of a place I go to, it’s very disconcerting," Botwin added.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW SURVEILLANCE FOOTAGE OF THIS INCIDENT

A Nest camera positioned in a second-story window caught the two suspects approach the GOP offices at 9:58 p.m. Saturday. Both were wearing black jackets, pants and sneakers; their faces were concealed. The color video shows the vandals walk in-and-out of frame a number of times. The entire incident lasted less than six minutes.

“It’s really just despicable," said Montgomery County Republican Party member Gail Weiss. “This says nothing about us, but it says everything about them.”

According to Weiss, Montgomery County is saturated with Democrats. She believes local Republicans are a minority in their own right, one now being targeted for their political beliefs.

"Political discrimination is the new racial and religious discrimination," Weiss added. "Bringing someone home from the wrong political party is the new, 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.'"

Montgomery County Police took a report Sunday. It is not presently clear if the department is officially calling this a hate crime. Both vandals remain at large.

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