JACKSONVILLE - Update: Tommie Thomas' billboard has been removed, and will not replaced.
The campaign's Facebook page displayed the following comment Sunday:
"Much to my disappointment the billboard is down. The owner does not want to risk further damage and thinks it may be a hazard to the community.
Nothing in this election has come easy, that is for sure! I guess the culprit accomplished their goal."
Thomas said he will try to find another location for some of his smaller banners.
A billboard for an Onslow County Commissioner candidate has been shot, and there is now a reward being offered for any information.
The billboard, on Gum Branch Road and Whaley Field Drive near the Rock Creek Subdivision, was put up on Tuesday. The next night it was vandalized by being shot multiple times with buck shot.
"Nothing was heard, it was Fourth of July, so it was great cover. People heard explosions all night," said candidate Tommie Thomas.
The billboard is for Thomas, who is seeking a seat on the county board in November's election. The photograph of Thomas's face is shot up on both sides of the billboard.
"The shots are in the face and head area, so to me it kind of signifies something personal," said Thomas.
Thomas is a former lieutenant with the Onslow County Sheriff's Office and current patrol officer with the Jacksonville Police Department. Thomas, who says he has never been threatened before, is now concerned because the sign is in a residential neighborhood.
"I've just got to make a decision whether it is worth keeping the sign up. I don't want to endanger anybody in this neighborhood over my sign," said Thomas.
Due to limited campaign funds, this is the only billboard that Thomas had placed.
CrimeStoppers of Onslow County is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to an arrest or apprehension in the damage of any candidate signs.
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