Sarika Bansal has been active in local government in recent years
The campaign sign of an Indian-origin woman running for a town council in the US state of North Carolina was vandalised, with a photo of a Black person's face superimposed over her face, according to a media report.
Sarika Bansal, the only person of colour running for the Cary Town Council this year, found a campaign sign of hers defaced on Thursday, The News & Observer newspaper reported.
Ms Bansal was attending the town council's regular meeting when she was informed that her campaign sign was found vandalised in the Highcroft Village neighbourhood in West Cary, where she is contesting for the seat.
Ms Bansal's head was seemingly scratched off, and a photo of a Black person's face was superimposed over her face on the sign, the newspaper reported on Friday.
She termed the incident "shocking" and said she was "truly saddened by the act of vandalism and racism" against her campaign.
"We must embrace diversity as a means of building strength and unity in our town. There is no place for bigotry and racism against people of colour, brown or Black, in the Town of Cary," she was quoted as saying.
In North Carolina, it is a class 3 misdemeanour for a person to steal, deface, vandalise or remove a political sign that is lawfully placed.
In a statement, Mayor Harold Weinbrecht said the town will do "everything we can to get to the bottom of this." "This racist, despicable act stands in stark opposition to the values we hold dear in Cary and will only serve to bring our community closer," Mr Weinbrecht said.
According to the report, Asian Americans make up 20 per cent of the 180,000-resident population in Cary.
"West Cary needs sustainable leadership," Ms Bansal said.
"Having diversity on the Town Council is going to help bring the change that we need today," she added.
A small business owner and resident of Cary, Ms Bansal started her business, Raj Jewels, in Morrisville five years ago. She has been active in local government in recent years.
In a statement on Friday, Sarika Bansal called on other candidates to "commit themselves to working for a Cary that accepts people of all backgrounds and colour." Bansal is in a three-way race with current Councilman Ryan Eades and newcomer Rachel Jordan for the town's District D seat.
If elected, Sarika Bansal would become the second woman of colour and the first Indian American to serve on the town council.
Cary's municipal election is on October 10, weeks before the county's Election Day on November 7.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)