Campaign signs all over the county are disappearing, and rewards are now being offered by both sides. While neither camp is pointing fingers at the other, both sides said all it would take is one overzealous supporter to take the drastic action.
Republicans Bill Gabor of Cazenovia and Peter Finocchiaro of Canastota, who will face-off in a Sept. 9 primary for the Republican endorsement for the office of District Attorney, both said the would not condone such actions by supporters or campaign workers.
Complaints of stolen signs began in the Finocchiaro camp a couple of weeks ago. According to Finocchiaro, about 100 signs had disappeared by them, mostly along the Route 5 corridor between Chittenango and Canastota.
And those signs aren't cheap.
G. James Traub, chairman of the Town of Sullivan Republican Committee, said only seven or eight signs had disappeared in the township, but the scenario was a little different than the mysterious disappearances Finocchiaro reported: A witness watched a woman go to a village home, remove a Gabor sign from the yard and drive off.
"It happened Sunday afternoon," Traub said of the Aug. 17 theft. "Those signs cost about $3 to $5, but more valuable is the time and work invested by members of the Sullivan Republican Committee to put them up."
Gabor said residents at least two other communities -- Fenner and the town of Cazenovia -- reported signs missing. According to Gabor, his campaign had purchased 500 signs at about $4 apiece. He said he wasn't fond of the practice of putting them up.
"Signs are a necessary evil," Gabor said. "They really don't do much for the landscape. I can't prove most of them were taken, and I'm not making accusations, but you have to account for certain losses, such as theft and wind, pranks and overzealous supporters."