Campaign banner set on fire in Belchertown - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Campaign banner set on fire in Belchertown

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BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -- Campaigning gets a bit dirty in the race for Selectboard in the town of Belchertown. Nicholas Tirrell found his signs on fire.

The young hopeful announced his intentions to run early last month. Since then, he's been attacked by someone trying to ruin his political success. 

"I wasn't shocked, I've known of these things happening in the past, but when I noticed Thursday morning that my campaign sign had been burned, I was incredibly concerned not just for political reasons but for the safety of everyone in my neighborhood as well," said Tirrell. 

A can of lighter fluid was found sitting nearby. 

"This time of year, and this kind of environment, it's heavily wooded, things can get very dry, very quickly, I think that's sort of taking it to a new level."

It's the first time, the young Republican has run for office. Tirrell says another one of his signs was stolen.

"We started campaign banners out two weekends ago. There was one sign up on the corner of Federal St and Amherst Rd. Route 9 that made it about 4 hours until I noticed it was stolen on my way home Sunday night."

His stepfather, Tom, calls the act callous. 

"It's disappointing and it kind of send the wrong message to other young people who might be thinking of running as well."

Tirrell is running against three other people for selectboard.

Belchertown police say they haven't seen something like this happen in a long time. 

Tirrell says he doesn't plan on putting up any other signs because he's afraid it may happen again. 

But, he says he hasn't lost his passion for politics.

Copyright 2015 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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