WILLIAMSON – One candidate in the upcoming May Primary Election expressed concerns to the Williamson Daily News on election signs being stolen and removed.
Don Stevens, candidate for Mingo County Magistrate, Division Three, is offering a $100 dollar reward for the arrest and conviction of anyone that has been stealing signs from any political candidate.
“If you can’t follow the rules about campaign signs about where you can put them and where you can’t put them, how can you be trusted to work in the public’s best interest?” Stevens said.
“There have been other complaints about signs being stolen. I, personally, have had over 200 signs stolen. So, I am offering a reward of $100 for the arrest and conviction of any person or persons caught stealing signs from any candidate,” Stevens continued.
Stevens believes that the Secretary of State’s Office should be involved. Stevens stated, “Also, the Secretary of State’s office should send someone down here to investigate this because they set the rules. They changed everything. If you are going to change the rules then you should enforce them. That gives everybody an even running field. I am not asking for any special favors. I am just asking that they follow the rules. It applies to me. It is supposed to apply to every candidate running. People really need to think about who they are going to vote for.”
Stevens also discussed the importance of candidates running on their own merit and campaigning only for their self.
“They changed all the rules about running one on one for any nonpartisan position. I can’t campaign with anyone. It has to be done on your own merit. Still, you have certain people running together. You are getting another package deal. This means that Team Mingo isn’t really dead; it just changed names and faces.”
Another issue Stevens addressed is the placement of campaign signs on telephone poles. By law, campaign signs are not allowed on telephone poles. The Mingo County Sheriff’s Department sent letters to each candidate earlier in the campaign season stating rules and laws concerning the placement of campaign signs. These rules are in place because the placement of signs on utility poles poses a safety threat to utility workers that must access the poles. “I got a letter from the Sheriff’s Department and the Ethic Judicial Board that says you can’t do it,” Stevens explained. “Here is the thing about it. One rule applies to all, not just one… Even if they (candidates) someone put that sign up there for me, I didn’t know it was up there. They have to drive by them every day. Every candidate knows that they have signs on poles,” Stevens continued.
For more information concerning campaign and election laws, visit the West Virginia Secretary of State website at www.wvsos.com.
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2279.)