From his Twitter account (@merritformayor), Tacoma mayoral candidate Jim Merritt recently tweeted the following:
Just heard of 9 more sign stolen from private yards today. Spoke to my opponent &asked her to get the word out to cease this practice.
I spoke with Merritt campaign manager Ronnie Bush this morning, who claims at least 300 Merritt signs have disappeared around Tacoma — what Bush described as part of a “concerted” effort of alleged thefts on the part of the campaign of Merritt’s opponent, Marilyn Strickland. Strickland absolutely denies the claims.
“When it’s one or two signs, you can blame it on kids or pranksters or whatever,” said Bush, adding that the missing signs would cost upward of $1,000 to replace. “But when it starts happening in a concerted way, it’s something else. I’ve never had this many signs disappear in any other campaign.”
But Bush conceded, when questioned, the Merritt campaign has no proof to say who is pilfering the signs, nor has the campaign made a formal complaint to police.
I also spoke today with Strickland, who says the allegations are absolutely ridiculous.
“We’re not doing that, I mean seriously,” she said. “My campaign team doesn’t have time to run around tearing down yard signs.”
Strickland added Merritt did bring the issue up to her at a recent event, but Strickland said she told him her team wasn’t involved. She was ticked that Merritt’s campaign would intimate otherwise.
“Jim Merritt must be the most victimized candidate in city campaign history,” Strickland said.
She noted Merritt’s campaign has complained about an “alleged whisper campaign” that he is a Republican (both Bush and Merritt have denied he has any GOP affiliation), then later got miffed about allegedly being misquoted during a candidate forum.
“Every week, they’re aggrieved about something or other,” she said.