Delta County commissioner candidate Jere Lowe is getting a little tired of having to replace his campaign signs. Lowe, a Democrat, is a first-time candidate for the District 3 seat on the Delta County Board of County Commissioners. He is running against incumbent Republican candidate Mark Roeber.
On Monday Lowe said his campaign has had to replace an estimated 60 signs that were stolen from private property. Signs have also been run over, including one sign on Lamborn Mesa that is knocked down several times a day. Another sign located on Lamborn Mesa Road near the irrigation ditch above Onarga Avenue has been shot full of holes. According to the Aug. 31 Delta County Sheriff's Office blotter, Lowe reported the problem to law enforcement on Aug. 22. He told the DCI he called the sheriff's office after his supporters began calling him about stolen signs.
On Sept. 11, while on his way home from the annual Democrat's BBQ in Delta, Lowe said he found a half dozen of his signs stacked in a yard across the road from his mailbox on Lamborn Mesa. The top sign has at least 15 small-caliber-sized holes in it.
"I don't know if it's intimidation or not," said Lowe. He calls the acts "childish," but doesn't think children are involved.
Roeber said he doesn't know who is tampering with Lowe's signs. "I don't encourage that kind of behavior," said Roeber.
He told the DCI he's not surprised that signs are being stolen and damaged and said some of his signs have also disappeared. "That's just part of the game, in reality," said Roeber. "No matter who you are, if you're going to run for office you are going to have enemies." He also said that he has seen some of Lowe's campaign signs placed in the public right of way when they should be placed on private property.
Lowe and Roeber are neighbors on Lamborn Mesa. "I do not think Mark Roeber or his campaign are involved," said Lowe. He said he knows Roeber is "a good person. I think very highly of him."
Lowe said he agrees with Roeber that these thing happen, but that it's still against the law. He cited state statute that prohibits the interference of lawful distribution of any election material during the 45-day period prior to and four days following any election. If caught, the perpetrators could face misdemeanor charges, unless the material was illegally placed on their property.
Lowe said his campaign will continue to replace stolen signs until the Nov. 8 election.