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Politically charged vandalism appears before Kaine’s visit

“Die Hillary” was spray painted on an exterior wall at House of Fabrics on Friday night in Front Royal. The vandalism appeared one day before representatives of the Thailand embassy and Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 running mate, visited Front Royal.

Felicia Hart, town director of tourism and community development, said that Kaine visited the recently opened Front Royal Brewery and Try Thai restaurant.

Upon learning of the vandalism, Hart said she was worried because House of Fabrics is next to Try Thai. Had Kaine stepped out onto the restaurant’s porch, she said he would have been in clear view of the vandalism. Not wanting the town to get a bad name, Hart and her partner Scott Hanes decided to paint over the spray-painted words.

“It was just something that was inappropriate, especially since we had a senator coming out…we just needed to get it covered up,” Hart said. “I did it not as a town employee, but just as a part of the community.”

Jayjay Srisiriwongchai, co-owner of Try Thai, said he was grateful for Hart’s and Hanes’ efforts.

“She called us and came here to paint it herself. I am very thankful for her to come and help us. Otherwise, we would have really had to strain to fix it,” he said. Besides the unexpected writing on the wall, he said the visit went smoothly.

Hart said the vandalism was one of a few incidents that occurred on Friday night which may have been connected. She said “white trash” was spray painted on a dumpster outside of the Front Royal Brewery, the power was cut off at the Daily Grind, and several flags were stolen from PaveMint Taphouse and Grill.

Hart said she did not know if police are investigating the matters as connected or separate incidents. Sisiriwongchai said that there is a camera outside of the restaurant, and it will be reviewed the next time the landlord of the building is in town.  Front Royal police did not return a phone call to the Northern Virginia Daily when asked for comment on the incident.

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