A Republican Party volunteer who was setting out campaign signs was threatened on the eve of today’s primary election outside of a northeast Greensboro polling place, a party official says.
Ryan Wilson was making the rounds with a bundle of signs last night at about 9:40 p.m. when he was approached by a black man on a bicycle at Peeler Recreation Center, the polling place for Precinct G05, Guilford County Republican Party Chairman Al Bouldin said. Wilson was holding a sign advertising Bill Knight, the conservative mayoral incumbent. Bouldin said the lighting was poor, so Wilson had difficulty making out distinguishing features about the man.
“He said — I’m paraphrasing here — he said, ‘You’re not going to put those signs out there; if you think you are, I’m going to pull a gun on you,” Bouldin said. The man also reportedly said, “I’m patrolling this area to make sure” nobody puts out Republican signs.
Bouldin said Wilson, who is the Republican precinct chair for Precinct Mon1, placed the signs back in his car and left the area.
Susan Danielsen, public information officer for the Greensboro Police Department, said the emergency communication center received a call from Wilson at 9:51 p.m. reporting the threat. The department dispatched patrols to look to see if they could locate any suspicious subjects until 10:28 p.m., but not make contact with anyone.
“The description was very vague,” Danielsen said.
G05 is one of the most heavily populated precincts near the White Street Landfill.
“This smacks of the fact that things got so heated over the landfill,” Bouldin said. “That’s probably what generated this angry man to do such a thing.”
Knight and other conservative Republican council members, including Danny Thompson, Mary Rakestraw and Trudy Wade, have attempted to reopen the landfill. This morning a sign for Knight and one for Wayne Abraham, an at-large candidate who opposes reopening the landfill, had been knocked down outside the Peeler Recreation Center polling place.
The county Republican Party headquarters has been vandalized at least twice in the run-up to the election with graffiti inscribing “KKK” and other similar phrases.