Attack on mayoral candidate's home and vehicle - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Attack on mayoral candidate's home and vehicle

By CJ Cassidy

ST. MARY, MO (KFVS) - A man running for mayor in one local community says a fiery attack on his home and vehicle made him think twice about carrying on with his campaign.

Ron Barnett is running against two other candidates in the upcoming April 7th election in St. Mary.

He says he narrowly escaped with his life after whoever set fire and tossed a brick through his window and woke him up.

Barnett says he can't believe anyone would go to such great lengths to knock him out of the running, but he says this attack had the opposite effect.

"I'm not going to give up," Barnett said. "At first I was going to pull out, then I decided I'm not going to give up."

Still, Barnett says the fire that destroyed his car and burned the side of his garage shook him to the core.

"Approximately 11:30 or a quarter to twelve I was awakened by broken glass and my window getting busted out," he remembered.

Barnett says whoever set the fire tossed a brick through his window with a note attached to it.

"I didn't see what the note said," he said. "One of the county officers stated that it said 'Resign from mayor or die.' Pretty serious threat."

Barnett was one of the first to sign up for the mayoral race.  Two other candidates are running against him, and one of them, Gloria Bader, says Barnett should stand his ground.

"I think it had to be an unmature person," Bader said. "Someone who would do something like that to start with, because you get fifty dollars a month for the mayor's job you don't do it for that reason to begin with. Whoever did that is very misguided."

Barnett does not suspect either candidate, but he does say:

"We are talking politics."

For now though, he's focusing on the future of his town, and leaving the investigation to police.

"I can't believe it's happening. I'd like to say to them someday you will have to pay for it," he said.

The Ste. Genevive County Sheriff's Office and the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are investigating the attack.

Barnett plans on putting up surveillance cameras around his home.

If you have any information you think might help, please call the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff's Office.

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