SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – A Salt Lake City Council candidate claims he is a victim of politically charged vandalism. Nigel Swaby is running to represent residents in Salt Lake City’s second district.
Swaby believes he’s being targeted for comments he made during a city council meeting that had to do with police funding and developments in the neighborhood.
“Try explaining to a six-year-old why your house is painted overnight,” Swaby said.
Swaby told ABC4 that he is being attacked for having different opinions than others.
“I went to take my daughter to Lagoon for her birthday yesterday morning and when I backed out, on the fence, there were two spray-painted slogans that had my name in them,” Swaby said.
Graffiti claiming he’s a racist and that he “hates poor people” covered his fence Sunday morning.
“For somebody to say something like that to me… has no basis on reality,” Swaby said.
The graffiti comes just one day after he claims he found a tire on his lawn.
“They definitely don’t want me to get elected to city council. They think I’m a developer, I’m not…I’m a real estate agent,” Swaby said.
Swaby is running for a seat on the Salt Lake City Council. However, he said he has been a victim of harassment because of what he’s said at city council meetings recently.
“One of the comments that I made to the planning commission was that I wish it was a ‘for sale’ project instead of all these rentals that are hurting a lot of people in Salt Lake City,” Swaby said.
He also claims his view on police funding is adding fuel to the fire.
“It was about a month ago when Salt Lake City was considering the lateral hires for their budget and I spoke in favor of that. I think Salt Lake City needs more police not less police,” Swaby said.
Swaby did not want to name the group that he believes is behind the vandalism.
“They’re definitely part of the free speech ecosystem. But when you go from having an organized protest to graffiti on somebody’s house that you disagree with, I think that you crossed the line,” Swaby said.
Even though he is concerned that he will be targeted again he said he will not back down.
“This is not going to work. I’m not going to stop running for district two because of some paint on my fence,” Swaby said.