Worcester

Worcester city councilor says her home was targeted by vandals

Etel Haxhiaj currently represents District 5 and is running for reelection

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A Worcester, Massachusetts, city councilor says her home was targeted by vandals Friday and she believes it was politically motivated.

Etel Haxhiaj, who currently represents District 5 and is running for reelection, said she was having dinner with her family Friday night when someone hit the house with a baseball bat, apparently trying to break the window. She says when they went outside, they found political signs strews across the lawn.

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"This political targeting is ugly. The harassment I’ve been facing for over 4 years now is a reminder of what some of us are facing for our values, ideas & work," she wrote on X, the platform formally known as Twitter.

Haxhiaj says she reported the incident to police and the city manager.

Worcester Mayor Joe Petty weighed in on social media.

"I want to make it unequivocally clear that violence against any individual, including current city councilors running for office, has no place in our democratic process. Our city has a rich tradition of civil discourse, debate, and respect for differing opinions. It is essential that we uphold these values as we engage in political campaigns and elections," he wrote.

Haxhiaj has lived in Worcester since 2001, when her family fled political upheaval in Albania, according to her campaign website. She was first elected to the city council in 2021. She won her district in preliminary elections on Sept. 5.

An investigation into the incident is underway.

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