Sublette County – Majority Floor Leader Rep. Albert Sommers (R-Pinedale) awoke Thursday morning to discover that several of his campaign signs staked in the yards of Sublette County residences and businesses were spray painted with the acronym “RINO.” Intended as an insult, the abbreviation stands for “Republican in Name Only.” By Sommers’ count, dozens of signs from Big Piney to Boulder and beyond were defaced with bright red paint, an attack on the candidate as well as the free speech of those who displayed the signs. The vandalism likely occurred between dusk and dawn on July 20 and 21.
The defacement of a candidate’s sign is considered a misdemeanor offense under Wyoming State Statute 6-3-201, punishable by imprisonment for not more than six months, a fine up to $750, or both. That same statute allows for charges and penalties imposed based upon the aggregate cost or value of the property injured or destroyed if it results from a continuing course of conduct.
Anyone with information about the defacement of Sommers’ signs should contact the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office at 307-367-4378 or 307-276-5448.