Her opponents in the race say they sympathize with her but that unfortunately, such vandalism isn't uncommon during heated elections.
Duprey is locked in a three-way race for New York's new 115th Assembly District. She'll appear on the Republican and Independence party lines on Nov. 6, Plattsburgh educator Karen Bisso is on the Conservative Party line, and Plattsburgh City Councilman Tim Carpenter is running as a Democrat.
Duprey said some of her campaign signs have been spray-painted with the words “baby killer.” She said she started noticing them around Labor Day but didn’t immediately report the apparent vandalism. Several days later, when more popped up, she reported it to state police.
The vandalized signs weren’t reported to the press until after the Sept. 13 Republican primary.
“I’m pretty tough, and I think I’ve dealt with a lot of things,” Duprey said. “I’ve certainly dealt with death threats before, but they were always anonymous. This is very personal. This is in our neighborhoods. It’s in our small towns. It’s rattled me.”
A spokesperson for Karen Bisso said it’s unfortunate that “people feel they can touch, remove, deface and defile campaign signs.” Bisso signs have also been removed and replaced with signs for other candidates throughout the campaign, according to her campaign. Bisso said the statements on the defaced Duprey signs are “vile and illegal, and I do not support it.”
Democrat Tim Carpenter, a Plattsburgh city councilman who is also on the ballot, said signs often disappear during political campaigns.
Duprey has come under fire from some conservative Republicans who believe she’s too liberal, especially when it comes to her stance on social issues like abortion and gay marriage. She said she’s pro-choice, not pro-abortion.
“I don’t think anybody says, ‘We support abortion,’” Duprey said. “What I support is the woman’s right to choose, with her doctor, what’s proper for her own health care. It deals with contraception, it deals with abortion rights - it deals with women having the choice to make [the decision] they need to for their own health. I see that very different than saying I’m out there fostering and supporting abortion.”
This sort of election season vandalism isn’t anything new. In 2008, during the presidential election between Barack Obama and John McCain, someone smashed a window at the McCain-Palin headquarters in Saranac Lake.
In the 2009 races for Essex County district attorney and sheriff, signs for nearly every candidate repeatedly came up missing.