Gershon on defaced campaign signs: This is just pure hate

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Perry Gershon, the Democratic candidate for Congress in the 1st District, believes his pro-choice positions led to the defacing of about 50 campaign signs in the Patchogue area.

Gershon says the signs were removed, defaced and then reposted. He says he hasn't filed a police report, but Suffolk police are aware of the situation.

“The department takes the matter seriously and Hate Crimes Unit detectives are in the process of reaching out to the candidate whose signs were damaged," Suffolk police told News 12.

Pictures show “baby killer” and “gay lover” written on the campaign signs. 

“This is just pure hate. There's no reason for it in any campaign,” says Gershon. “I have no idea who's behind it, I can guess who they support based on the fact that they stole my signs.”

Gershon's opponent, Republican incumbent Lee Zeldin, denounced the defaced signs, and says his campaign has nothing to do with them.

“No matter who it is, they need to knock it off. It’s not helpful. It doesn't help either campaign you're trying to help,” says Zeldin.

The two candidates agree that this situation is indicative of the political climate right now, not just in this congressional district or on Long Island, but across the country.

Until that happens, LGBT Network President David Kilmnick says these signs only reinforce the concerns that many in the community have right now.

“Seeing these signs in our own hometown, right here on Long Island, just elevates that fear even more,” says Kilmnick.

Suffolk police say that "the department has agreed to enhance patrols at the LGBT's community center in Bay Shore." The LGBT Network says it is working with police to beef up patrols at its Sag Harbor and Woodbury locations as well.

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