A Dayton man who created political drama last week by posting an unflattering sign of Liberty County Pct. 4 Commissioner Leon Wilson says he is simply exercising his right to free speech and vows to keep the sign up for as long as Wilson remains in office.
Leonard Vyoral, the man responsible for sign that reads: “Vote him out! Silver Alert: Old male wandering Dayton area. Thinks he is the county commissioner,” claims his beef with the commissioner started long before the most recent election cycle.
“We have been fighting for years and there is nothing he (Wilson) can do to fix the situation,” Vyoral said.
According to Vyoral, he is upset over road and ditch maintenance in the Eastgate community where he lives. However, erecting the anti-Wilson sign came after Wilson reportedly put up political signs on properties Vyoral either owns or manages for family members. When Wilson’s signs later were removed by an alleged third party at a different location, Vyoral said he was blamed for taking the signs down.
“The sign I erected against Leon would have never gone up if he hadn’t put his signs on my property or accused me of stealing his political signs,” Vyoral said, adding that he was contacted by the county attorney’s office.
Vyoral coincidently is a neighbor to Craig McNair who is opposing Wilson in the May 24 election for Pct. 4 commissioner. Wilson and McNair battled for the commissioner seat in the March 1 Republican primary; however, the election results for that particular race were voided by a visiting district judge after some issues were discovered with the precinct boundary lines, causing some legitimate voters to be unable to vote and allowing people who live outside the precinct to vote in the race.
When the anti-Wilson sign first appeared, Wilson was alerted to it by people in the community.
“It upset me because I felt like it belittled and degraded the older generation. I think that’s the way a lot of people are viewing it,” Wilson said. “I don’t think it has anything to really do with my age. Craig and I are both the same age.”
When he first heard about the sign, Wilson said his first reaction was to consider any potential involvement from McNair, which McNair denies.
“The sign was put up right around the corner from McNair’s house. I think they are using every method they can to win the election,” Wilson said.
McNair remains adamant that he wasn’t involved and had no prior knowledge of the sign. He points to the long-standing feud that led to it.
“After I heard about it, I called Leonard and said, ‘Thank you very much. Now I am going to get blamed for that,'” McNair said. “I don’t want to be blamed for it. That’s all I can do. Most of the people in Eastgate are laughing about it.”
The two candidates – Wilson and McNair – will face off in the May 24 election. Early voting for that election will be held from May 16-20, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. On election day, the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Early voting will be at any of four voting centers set up across the county: Jack Hartel Building, Hardin City Hall, Dayton Community Center and Cleveland Civic Center.
Election day voting will be held at:
- Jack Hartel Building, Liberty
- Hardin City Hall, Hardin
- Dayton Community Center, Dayton
- Cleveland Civic Center, Cleveland
- Hi-Way Tabernacle Church, Tarkington
- Kenefick Southern Baptist Church, Kenefick
- Trinity Baptist Church, Dayton
For more information on local elections, go online to https://www.co.liberty.tx.us/page/liberty.Elections