Anyone who doubted that it stinks to be a Democrat in El Paso County only had to walk within a block of Jay Fawcett's campaign headquarters on Election Day.
Well before Fawcett fell to Doug Lamborn in the race for the 5th Congressional District seat, pranksters smeared the outside of the building at 711 S. Tejon St. with a powerful skunk-like odor and sent numerous mice loose through the cracks.
"We're in Iraq teaching people about democracy, and this is how America shows the world how we do democracy?" Fawcett campaign manager Wanda James asked Tuesday morning, amid the putrid smell that wafted through the office.
Fawcett, she added, received a threatening e-mail.
"It was basically telling Jay to die," she said.
Colorado Springs police are investigating the incident and e-mail. Police Lt. Rafael Cintron immediately downplayed the latter, stating that it appeared to contain a "profane statement" rather than a threat.
"It states, "Eat shit and die' in its subject line," Cintron said.
Yet the e-mail, combined with two other e-mails that James said appear to threaten Fawcett and other Democrats, left the campaign concerned about safety.
A separate skunk-smell attack had taken place about a week before, when a car belonging to Fawcett's finance director, Andy Szekeres, was bathed in the spray as it sat in front of El Paso County Republican headquarters.
Fawcett's campaigners clearly placed the blame for the prank on operatives for Fawcett's opponent.
"We had some Lamborn skunks visit us last night," read an apologetic note outside the headquarters. It included a photo of Lamborn and cartoon skunk.
Lamborn's campaign manager, John Hotaling, did not answer whether his campaign was to blame for the prank, but briefly stated disgust.
"It is unfortunate that it happened, because there is no place in a campaign for tactics like that," Hotaling said.
Meanwhile, Fawcett campaign workers named three of the mice they rounded up after prominent Republicans: Doug, as in Lamborn; Bob, as in gubernatorial candidate Beauprez; and Marilyn, as in CD4 candidate Musgrave.
"The mice have endorsed me," Fawcett joked.