COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — A Colorado Springs mayoral candidate appears to be the target of racist graffiti and vandalism. FOX31 is working to learn more about the allegations as the NAACP sternly denounces the messaging.

The Rocky Mountain and Colorado Springs NAACP chapters are calling out whoever is behind the racial slur and hate being spread, telling FOX31 that it’s disturbing and unacceptable.

Yemi Mobolade is running for mayor in Colorado Springs and is currently in a runoff race against Wayne Williams. The two went head-to-head in a debate Monday night, but in the midst of the tight race, racially charged messaging has surfaced seemingly targeting the West African immigrant who moved to Colorado Springs in 2010, according to his campaign website.

An image and video show a campaign poster supporting “Yemi for Mayor” anchored to the ground, but the sign has been spraypainted in red with a racial slur and a cross is burning next to it.

“It’s very disturbing,” said Rashad Younger, press secretary with the Rocky Mountain NAACP. “What’s going on in El Paso County? What’s going on in Colorado Springs? Why is an African American who is running for mayor receiving these types of threats? It’s 2023.”

‘This is unacceptable’

Younger said an email was written by a concerned citizen and sent to a state representative and other community leaders about the messaging, and that’s how the NAACP was made aware.

FOX31 reached out to Mobolade’s campaign team but has not heard back. However, Younger said he has been in communication with the candidate’s team.

“They’re assuming this is a hoax,” Younger said. “We don’t take this as a hoax, especially with Black and brown communities that have constantly dealt with racism.”

Angela Stevens, NAACP Colorado Springs branch president, believes someone is trying to intimidate voters or influence the candidate himself.

“We are looking at this as voter intimidation,” Stevens said. “This is unacceptable. Do we believe that it’s a hoax? Personally, we do not. It’s not funny in any form.”

The Colorado Springs Police Department said it is in the early stages of investigating. The NAACP is also calling on Gov. Jared Polis to get involved with the investigation.