The downtown office window of a former Sonora mayor was vandalized with a black marker on Thursday.

Someone wrote on the window, covering up words on a poster for California District 4 Democratic congressional candidate Jessica Morse that was inside the glass.

“Republican!” was written on the glass and overlaid a sheet of paper that was attached inside and said “Register to Vote.”

A spokesperson for the Sonora Police Department could not be reached for comment on Friday afternoon.

Owner of the real estate mediation business at 79 N. Washington St. in Sonora, Jim Hildreth, a former Sonora City Councilman who served for 12 years and for two of those years as mayor, said he was in San Francisco for a mediation when he received news of the report from Hallie Campbell, a deputy public defender and wife of Tuolumne County Supervisor candidate for District 2, Ryan Campbell.

Hildreth left the Sonora area at 6 a.m., he said, and speculated that the political vandalism likely occurred during the day time.

“I don’t care what affiliation you are, but don't vandalize their signs,” Hildreth said.
Hildreth said he did not believe he was specifically targeted, because his name was not mentioned in any of the graffiti. But because the poster — and his support for Morse — were open to the public, he said he may have “hit a nerve.”
“It’s like acting out. Someone saying ‘I’m angry,’ ” Hildreth said.

Jessica Morse is running against five-term Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock, of Elk Grove.

According to Sonora Police Department logs, Hildreth reported the graffiti at 5:17 p.m. Hildreth said an officer responded to the business about 10 p.m. Thursday to take a statement. Hildreth’s wife cleaned the words off of the window on Friday, Hildreth said.

Hildreth said he directed police officers to a security camera in front of the Tuolumne County Superior Court building at 60 N. Washington St., which may have a view of the front of his business.

Contact Giuseppe Ricapito at (209) 588-4526 or . Follow him on Twitter @gsepinsonora.