Betsy Dahl's routine trip to the hairdresser Saturday ended with a black mark, so to speak.
The Ellicott City woman, a registered independent voter, didn't give the green O'Malley-Brown bumper sticker on the rear of her new 2006 Honda a thought when she parked at a small shopping center on U.S. 40 in western Ellicott City on Saturday morning.
But when she came back, she noticed someone had sprayed black paint over the sticker, and the paint was dripping onto the bumper.
"I was very upset. It's a brand-new car," she said, adding that she will eventually have to get the bumper repainted.
Then she noticed that the shopping center also serves the campaign headquarters of Christopher J. Merdon, the Republican candidate for Howard County executive. She went in and reported what had happened, she said, but workers there said they knew nothing about it.
Bev Wilhide, Merdon campaign staff director, said damaging someone's car is not the kind of behavior the Merdon campaign condones or engages in. Besides, she said, "We have no spray paint."
Dahl reported the incident to the Howard County police, then got a new O'Malley bumper sticker to paste over the black paint, she said.