Tucson Mayoral Candidate Dr. Ed Ackerley held a press conference today outside of Tucson City Hall, condemning the recent theft of his campaign’s signs. Video footage released by the campaign shows a Caucasian man, approximately 55 to 70 years old with white hair and wearing a green T-shirt, removing several campaign signs.
Dr. Ackerley announced that he had met with both the Tucson City Clerk’s Office, as well as Tucson Police Department to report the theft, and that a formal investigation is ongoing into the identity of the perpetrator. Under Arizona state law, removal or defacement of a political sign is a class 2 misdemeanor offense. The candidate announced that if the man removing the signs was caught, his campaign would press charges.
Dr. Ackerley explained that while the campaign now has video footage confirming the deliberate removal of signs, this has not been the first time that campaign signs have gone missing. “I have people put up signs on a street, and 24 or 48 hours later those signs are all gone. Some one is tracking the placement of my signs, and then taking steps to remove them,” said Dr. Ackerley. The candidate asserted that beyond the number of the signs removed, coincidence or a desire to clean up medians could be ruled out because other signs for other campaigns were left standing. This leads Dr. Ackerley to believe, “We’re being targeted”. Dr. Ackerley declined to comment on who might be responsible for targeting his campaign.
Dr. Ackerley challenged all political parties and candidates’ campaigns to condemn the destruction of political signs as, “undemocratic and anti-free speech” and “not the Tucson I grew up in”. He also called on any citizen with knowledge of who the perpetrator might be to call 88Crime and make a report.