A screengrab of a Facebook post from Michael O’Donnell accusing supporters of his rival, Tim Norton, of vandalizing a campaign sign. Daniel Salazar The Wichita Eagle
A screengrab of a Facebook post from Michael O’Donnell accusing supporters of his rival, Tim Norton, of vandalizing a campaign sign. Daniel Salazar The Wichita Eagle

Prairie Politics

Insider dispatches from our writers on politics in Wichita, Topeka and Washington.

Prairie Politics

Michael O’Donnell accuses Tim Norton supporters of vandalizing campaign sign

By Daniel Salazar

dsalazar@wichitaeagle.com

August 09, 2016 01:28 PM

UPDATED August 09, 2016 07:01 PM

A brief kerfuffle between two Sedgwick County Commission campaigns played out over social media late Monday.

Michael O’Donnell is running against Democratic commissioner Tim Norton in the District 2 race, which includes Haysville, Clearwater and large parts of south Wichita.

O’Donnell posted a photo on his personal Facebook page Monday night of a damaged campaign sign along a roadway.

“My campaign sign didn’t even last 48 hours,” according to O’Donnell’s post. “The members of Tim Norton’s campaign team used a box cutter to destroy my sign while leaving the (U.S. Rep. Mike) Pompeo sign … intact.”

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O’Donnell’s campaign page posted the photo and asked followers to share that the campaign would install cameras at sign locations this week. The post did not reference evidence about who the campaign suspects vandalized the sign.

Norton’s campaign page responded later in the night saying defacing or removing campaign signs was not acceptable.

“I do not condone it from my supporters or from those that might do so without any tie to a campaign but just with malicious intent,” according to Norton’s post.

“As candidates, I am sure we will try our best to seek the highest level of honesty and fair play and work together to seek to quell those that might like to play the game at the lowest levels.”

O’Donnell later updated the post after Norton’s response.

“I appreciate Commissioner Norton’s response and believe him that he had nothing to do with it, just some of his supporters being over-zealous,” O’Donnell’s updated post read.

O’Donnell and Norton did not immediately return calls Tuesday morning.

The race between O’Donnell and Norton features two well-known names, pitting a state senator and former Wichita City Council member against the longest standing commissioner on the Sedgwick County Commission, respectively.

The race has also taken on new significance after David Dennis defeated incumbent commissioner Karl Peterjohn in last week’s Republican primary.

Daniel Salazar: 316-269-6791, @imdanielsalazar