AUGUSTA — Two Republican lawmakers say their cars were vandalized in recent days, coinciding with hot tempers and frayed nerves at the statehouse where lawmakers were trying to pass a budget amid a government shutdown.

Rep. Sheldon Hanington of Lincoln said his truck was vandalized Saturday night in the driveway of his home. A door was visibly dented and a rock was left in the bed of the truck.

Earlier in the day, protesters had clashed with Hanington in the hallways of the statehouse, according to Rob Poindexter, the spokesman for the Maine House Republicans.

Hanington mentioned the vandalism on the House floor Monday.

There were no witnesses to the damage, but the reports of vandalism prompted speculation that it was related to the unrest over the shutdown.

Poindexter said a second lawmaker, Rep. Tim Therriault of China parked his Mercedes in the legislative parking at the Maine State House on Monday. He later “noticed what he believed to be a mark consistent with a key scratch or possibly someone had hit the vehicle,” Poindexter said.

Capitol Police are investigating whether Therriault’s car was vandalized and Hanington filed a report on the damage to his truck with the Lincoln Police Department.

Noel K. Gallagher can be reached at 791-6387 or at:

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