Local politicians call this election year: “most polarizing and violent they have ever seen”

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — Explosive devices addressed to high-profile political targets set off a wave of panic Wednesday. Locally, Democrats and Republicans say this election cycle is the most polarizing and violent they have ever seen.

Brian Bobbitt knows a thing or two about hostile political climates.

It’s why he physically moved out to the corner of Herndon and Academy in a camper to babysit his signs.

“It gets taken down, I put it up, taken down, put it up,” Bobbitt said of his Andrew Janz campaign signs. “It just became an I’m gonna win this, not you.”

The graffiti and sign thefts are actually the mildest of over-the-top behavior this year.
Local congressional candidates have gotten threats, some even directed towards their family members.

“This is much worse than it has ever been before. I’ve heard it from candidates and elected officials who have been in office for a number of years,” said Fred Vanderhoff, the chairman of the Fresno County Republican Party.

Last month, vandals have broken into candidate Andrew Janz’s Visalia Office.
This Monday, someone threw a rock through the office of House Majority leader Kevin McCarthy in Bakersfield. Vanderhoof blames national leadership for inciting this aggressive behavior.

“Some of the people that are espousing or advocating words that indicate that it’s okay to be violent, they need to stop that.”

To volunteers, at some point in this election, people have forgotten it’s not republican versus democrat. They say it should be the candidate versus the issues at hand.

“We can have our differences, we can support our candidates, we don’t need to destroy people, send bombs,” said Bobbitt

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