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High winds, thieves wreak havoc on Colorado Springs campaign signs

March 13, 2017 Updated: March 13, 2017 at 10:41 pm
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A few City Council candidates have seen their campaign yard signs blown away, defaced or flat-out stolen, but they all say no election opponent is to blame.

District 1 challenger Greg Basham said he's had a bunch of signs blown away by high winds.

"Sunday, my wife went around and put a bunch back where they were," Basham said. "Don Knight (the councilman he's challenging) wouldn't have taken the signs. That just wouldn't happen."

Knight said two of his 4-by-4-foot signs went missing from busy intersections: at Chestnut Street and Garden of the Gods Road, and on southbound Academy Boulevard just north of University Village.

"I have no idea why they're gone," Knight said. "These are on fence posts and tied down. Yard signs, you expect to lose some to wind.

"I do not suspect it's Greg Basham. In fact, he was kind enough to let me know that when his wife went out (to replace) his signs, she found some of my signs with wires broken, too. It's unfortunately part of the game."

It's a big part of the game this election, though, for District 3 candidate Richard Skorman.

More than 300 yard signs have been stolen, said Skorman and campaign coordinator Sally Davis.

"So many people have come back in and said they just put 'em in, and they were stolen overnight," Skorman said. "So we've been wiring them (to the metal frames) ...

"Whoever's doing it is just taking them off the frame, sometimes tearing it up and mostly they just disappear. If it were the wind, we'd see them blowing around. It's not just rights-of-way; people are going into other people's yards.

"I'm sure it's not coming from our opponent," he said. "They wouldn't do that." His opponent, Chuck Fowler, couldn't be reached for comment.

"I lived in Skyway for years, and this happens every election. Signs go up, and they come down," Davis said.

District 4 challenger Deborah L. Hendrix said she's had signs defaced, and the high winds have damaged many yard-sign wires.

"I've had some removed and some vandalized," Hendrix said. "One of my big signs had someone cut off all the ties and write on it. ... It could be just kids messin' with 'em. But yeah. It's a little frustrating.

"I wouldn't speculate that my opponents would do anything of that nature. But I can't say citizens who are supporting one candidate or another might not take the signs. I wouldn't want anyone supporting me to take anyone's signs."

District 4 Councilwoman Helen Collins said, "I put a bunch of signs up Saturday. The next day they were gone and replaced by an opponent's signs. I wish somebody would take iPhone photos of the people who do this."

The third District 4 contender, Yolanda L. Avila, couldn't be reached for comment Monday.

Lynette Crow-Iverson, who's running for the District 5 seat, said the winds have been a problem.

"I replaced mine in my yard at least five times. We have had horrific winds. I just put 'em back up. I don't stress about it," Crow-Iverson said. But her 4-by-8-foot sign near the old Gazette-Telegraph building had to be replaced twice "because of kids and graffiti," she said.

Her opponent, Council President Pro Tem Jill Gaebler, said she's had a few signs disappear.

"Most of my signs are on people's yards," Gaebler said. "But it is possible the wind did that. I have some big signs, and those do tend to stay in place."

Two of the four District 6 candidates blamed the wind.

"The winds, yeah. We got out periodically and fix them. Haven't noticed anyone stealing 'em, nothing like that," said Councilman Andres G. Pico.

Challenger Janak Joshi echoed that report, saying none of his had been stolen, though some were blown over.

District 6 candidates Melanie Bernhardt and Robert M. Burns could not be reached for comment.

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