Campaign sign stealing culprits a mystery

chwright@macon.comOctober 20, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- Campaign signs signal that an election is underway.

But those signs don’t always stay where they’re put.

“I don’t know anybody anywhere that has gone through an election cycle where somebody hasn’t complained that any of their signs have been pulled down,” said Chris Grant, a Mercer University political science associate professor.

Five of the six mayoral candidates in Warner Robins said they have battled the annoyance. They said it’s frustrating, but they just replace what was taken and move on to bigger problems.

“Usually, they can’t figure out who has taken it,” said Charles Bullock, the University of Georgia political science department chairman.

The Warner Robins candidates and educators said code enforcement officers sometimes pick up signs inappropriately placed in public spaces, but not all missing signs are found at City Hall.

None of the Warner Robins candidates said they know who is taking their signs.

“I tell you this, if it’s anyone in my campaign doing it, I want them to stop. I don’t think it is,” said Randy Toms, 53.

Toms said he has noticed signs missing, but “I’m not getting uptight” about it.

Daron Lee, 43, said he has had about 25 signs disappear. He’s replacing them, but “that gets expensive.”

“I don’t know who’s taking them up, but I have an idea of where they’re going,” he said.

Chuck Chalk, 47, said he has noticed about $100 worth of small signs missing.

“As long as it’s the small ones, I’m not too concerned,” he said. “For my own piece of mind, I call it mischief. I have bigger things to concentrate on.”

Mike Brashear, 65, said he has had two large signs go missing that cost about $300, in addition to some smaller yard signs. Others have been defaced.

“I don’t know where they’re going,” Brashear said. “They don’t just blow away.”

Joe Musselwhite, 60, said some of his A-frame signs have gone missing or been tipped over.

“We check them every day,” he said. “Some of it’s kids, some of it’s not.”

Bullock said he has known some candidates who actually found the teenagers responsible.

“Some candidates will cruise around in the wee hours of the night,” he said.

None of the Warner Robins candidates indicated that they have planned campaign sign stakeouts.

To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.

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