Swastikas spray-painted at Bernie Sanders campaign office in Florida
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Swastikas spray-painted at Bernie Sanders campaign office in Florida

Vandalism of facility comes weeks after white nationalist unfurled Nazi flag during rally held by the Jewish Democratic candidate

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., departs Capitol Hill in Washington, March 18, 2020, after the Senate passed a second coronavirus response bill. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., departs Capitol Hill in Washington, March 18, 2020, after the Senate passed a second coronavirus response bill. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

A campaign office for US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in Florida was vandalized with swastikas, a member of his team said Saturday.

“Didn’t know if we should share, but one of our grassroots Bernie offices in Florida was vandalized with swastikas. Sheriff sent a team to clean it up,” wrote a staffer from the office on the “Florida for Bernie” Twitter account.

Pictures from the scene showed a number of Nazi swastikas, as well as the sentence “voting didn’t stop us last time.”

Florida for Bernie did not identify where in the US state the office was located. There was no official response to the vandalism from the Sanders campaign.

The incident came weeks after a suspected white nationalist unfurled a Nazi flag during a Sanders rally in Arizona. One attendee at the rally told BuzzFeed that the man shouted anti-Jewish slurs at Sanders and gave the Nazi salute. The ADL identified the white supremacist as Robert Sterkeson of Glendale, Arizona, who on multiple occasions has posted videos of himself harassing Muslim and Jewish targets.

A man unfurls a swastika at a Bernie Sanders rally in Arizona on March 5, 2020 (Screen capture/YouTube)

Sanders, a self described democratic socialist, is trailing in the Democratic primary behind former US vice president Joe Biden, who is appealing to moderates.

Sanders, 78, was long reluctant to discuss his Jewish upbringing but began to open up well into his 2016 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination when he became the first Jewish candidate to win major-party nominating contests.

He has made his Jewish identity a central factor of his 2020 campaign, but has drawn criticism for agreeing to be represented by activist Linda Sarsour and Democratic congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, who have been accused of peddling anti-Semitic myths.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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