Break-in occurs at DeMaio campaign headquarters

SAN DIEGO - Authorities are trying to determine who broke into and trashed congressional candidate and former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio's Miramar campaign headquarters.

The burglary in the 9600 block of Black Mountain Road was reported about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to San Diego police.

Patrol personnel arrived to find computer cables cut and monitor screens smashed, SDPD public affairs Officer Matt Tortorella said.

A representative of the office told police the crime had occurred sometime after 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Campaign communications director Dave McCulloch told 10News, "We're six days out from an election and this is disgusting."

DeMaio had mixed emotions, telling 10News, "I am absolutely stunned that anyone would stoop this low."

He's angry about the vandalism but heartened by the response of his team.

"When our campaign workers came in this morning, obviously they were shocked, they were outraged but even more committed to get out there and not let this set our campaign back," DeMaio said.

McCulloch explained, "Instead of making phone calls today, our team is walking neighborhoods and precincts, and continuing to make voter contact."

There are questions about whether it might have been an inside job because of the entry point coming from an adjoining office and the fact that a file cabinet with files inside was untouched, while another was stripped of several hundred dollars worth of gasoline debit cards.

DeMaio said, "We do get hundreds of volunteers, but the idea that somebody would have cased the joint or been involved, really is astounding."

A little time was lost, but some repairs are already in place; volunteers are back on the phones.

Amanda Gracia, one of those volunteers, said, "I think mostly I'm disappointed, really. I'm still happy to be here; ready and willing to help the campaign."

DeMaio and two other candidates -- businessman Kirk Jorgensen and surgeon Dr. Fred Simon Jr. -- are running to unseat Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, in California's 52nd Congressional District.

Election Day is Tuesday, June 3.

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