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MIDDLETOWN, Del. (CBS) — Some are calling it a political party foul after a Democratic candidate was caught on camera removing her rival’s campaign material, and swapping it with her own, at a voter’s home.
Randy Smith, of Middletown, Delaware, was with his wife and kids for a Sunday outing when he got a text from his home security system.
“I got an alert that somebody was on our property,” said Smith. “I checked that out and it was one of our local political candidates.”
Around noon, the motion-sensitive camera on his porch captured Kevin Hensley, the Republican state representative for the 9th District, dropping off a campaign flier.
Then around 4:30 p.m., Smith got another alert when Democratic challenger Monique Johns also stopped by. Smith did a double take when he saw Johns actually remove Hensley’s literature from the front door and replace it with her own.
“So I very quickly surmised that there was a little bit of shadiness going on there,” said Smith.
Smith decided to post his findings on social media.
“This isn’t a political agenda for me, it was about seeing somebody doing some funny business and getting the information out,” said Smith.
As the videos spread online, Delaware Democratic Party Chairman Erik Raser-Schramm called on Johns to apologize.
“Campaigns are auditions for leadership positions, not win-at-all-cost prank wars,” said Raser-Schramm. “Tampering with the signs or campaign materials of an opponent isn’t just a bad election strategy, it’s bad for our democracy.”
Unable to reach Johns on the phone, CBS3 stopped by the campaign headquarters listed on her website, which appeared to be her home.
Later in the afternoon, Johns said in a statement, “This was a lapse of judgment that I humbly regret. Please forgive me. I won’t make any excuses for this action. I have apologized to my opponent, my supporters, and now I apologize to the voters of the 9th Representative District.”
Hensley called it an unfortunate situation.
“Well, it’s unfortunate, it truly is because, quite frankly, folks in Delaware, we have the Delaware way, and tend to not really get into the negativity,” he said.
The Democratic Party also said that voters deserve better and more from their candidates.