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Signs of the Times

Political signs pop up all over Alexandria, then come down for Hurricane Sandy.

With 28 local candidates in Alexandria this election season, the median areas on many city streets have become muddled with campaign signs.

The clusters have only gotten larger this fall with the local races coinciding for the first time with national elections.

Many have bemoaned the signs since they appeared during the run up to June’s Democratic primary for City Council, which whittled the party’s field from 14 candidates (and their thousands of signs) to a slate of six.

A sign was even placed on Commonwealth Avenue this past spring to protest the abundance of primary signage.

And, of course, the signs don’t come without some controversy.  

On Thursday night, a Del Ray Patch reader reported a group of people removing signs for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney from the medians on Commonwealth Avenue and replacing them with signs for President Barack Obama.

Alexandria Democratic Committee Chair Dak Hardwick said his group had nothing to do with the act.

“The Alexandria Democratic Committee does not support or condone any political sign vandalism, regardless of party,” Hardwick wrote in an email. “We see this every year and it's an unfortunate part of campaigning by overzealous activists. However, we are exclusively focused on talking to voters and not on the particulars of signs. Signs don't vote; voters do—and we're staying focused on voters.”

On Monday, just eight days before the election, many of the signs in the city came down voluntarily.

With Hurricane Sandy’s heavy winds blowing in, many candidates and their campaign teams traversed the city’s soggy streets to make sure those placards didn’t become projectiles.

District B School Board candidates Kelly Carmichael Booz and Justin Keating hit the road together on Monday to pick up their signs. 

“If a campaign sign damages person or property, it will NOT be a Keating or Booz sign,” Keating tweeted.

City Council candidate Justin Wilson kept tabs on his own campaign sign on Twitter, chronicling its demise in the storm after it spent nearly a year in his front yard

“Commence with the analysis of the implications of this development,” Wilson joked.

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