With a little more than one week left before the Oregon mayoral primary on Sept. 15, the battle for votes to get on the November ballot is heating up.
Mayoral candidates Marvin Dabish, Councilman Mike Seferian, and Mayor Marge Brown are complaining that their campaign signs are being targeted by opponents’ supporters and being damaged, destroyed, or simply disappearing.
Dabish, a grocer who is making his first bid for public office, said someone is removing his signs throughout the city.
“I had some signs at the Bay Shore Supper club,” he said last week. “Then one day, I went there and saw all my signs missing, and replaced by Marge Brown signs. The Bay Shore Supper Club said they came in that morning and saw that my signs were missing.”
He isn’t accusing any of his opponents of the dirty deed.
“I don’t know who it is. I’m not accusing anyone in particular,” said Dabish. “But there’s a big sign war going on.”
Dabish said he paid for 100 campaign signs, at $25 per sign, and $2.50 for smaller signs.
“I got about 10 signs left. I funded my own campaign. I never, ever took a dollar from anyone,” he said.
Dabish also said the city is removing some of his signs.
“The city puts them against the side of the municipal building, and I go and pick them up, and put them back to the spot where they were taken from,” said Dabish.
“I go there every day to get my signs from the side of the building. There’s nothing but my signs, and Seferian’s. I never see any of Marge’s signs there,” he said. “If I don’t pick them up, they throw them in the garbage.”
Dabish said Seferian had told him about the city removing their signs.
Seferian said he’s lost more than $2,000 worth in signs.
“The last time I ran for mayor, all my signs got taken - twice,” said Seferian, who ran against Brown in 2001.
He said he believed a supporter of Brown’s was taking the signs, but he couldn’t prove it.
“So I just let it go,” he said.
Brown said the city is removing campaign signs that are placed in the city right of way, which is prohibited.
“You have to keep them out of the city right of way. The city is not picking on anyone in particular. If the signs are in the right of way, they get pulled and put by the building and zoning department.”
Brown said her signs have also been vandalized.
“I’ve had three signs damaged,” she said. “Two of them had big holes cut in them, and the other one was slashed across the middle. I was able to put tape in the middle of that one, but the other two are in the garage. But I don’t care. It doesn’t bother me. Politics is politics.”