HOUSTON (FOX 26) - A Houston City Council member had a bit of a surprise when he drove along Bellaire Boulevard this week.
Richard Nguyen said dozens of his campaign signs were vandalized -- carved out, slashed, graffitied, and slapped with swastikas –- along Bellaire Blvd.
Some had the swastika symbol on them.
FOX 26 News met up with him at his campaign headquarters, where he had about a dozen of marred signs in the back. He said he's not intimidated though, and that this only pushes him harder to win re-election.
“We woke up two mornings in a row and found that our signs were vandalized, and I'm thinking that this might not be an isolated incident because it happened during election time,” said Richard Nguyen, the Houston City Council member representing District F.
About 30 of his signs were found this way.
With Election Day looming next week, the incumbent for district F said while campaigns can bring out the best of people, it also pulls out the worst.
Nguyen said this has never happened to him before.
“I was sad. I was very disappointed because District F, the district that I represent, is the most diverse district in the city and possibly the nation so I'm fighting hard to keep our district moving forward,” said Nguyen.
Nguyen is of Vietnamese descent, as is a large portion of Houston's Asian community. Advocates say the swastikas and defacement are heinous and that people should know they will not excuse it.
“The Asian community, we take this very personally. I think if the message was that we were going to be easily intimidated -- as Asians, I think we're not going to take this lying down,” said Vinh Ho, an attorney and community advocate.
Nguyen is running against Stephen Le. The two will face off on December 12 for his current seat. Nguyen said he has no idea who vandalized his signs but that he is leaving some of them up around town to send a message.
“I'm not intimidated by it, so in a way, I want the folks in this area to know that don't be intimidated by it. Go out and vote and speak your voice,” said Nguyen.
District F is very diverse -- with 43% being Hispanic, 27% African-American, and 17% Asian. Nguyen said he has reported this to the police and that they are currently investigating.