Judicial candidates react to campaign sign war

By Christina Stueve Hodges | Nov 8, 2012

In the race for St. Clair County Circuit Judge, Republican candidate Ron Duebbert had problems keeping campaign signs up in his district.

Duebbert placed more than 17 signs in front of Concept Shoe Repair in St. Clair County.

“My friend and I would put these signs up every day,” he said. “Every time we put a sign up that said Republican, it was taken down.”

All together, one-third of his signs were removed, he said.

Duebbert’s opponent, St. Clair County Associate Judge Vincent Lopinot, said he had no idea who was interfering with Duebbert’s signs.

“I wish it would stop," Lopinot said on Election Day. "It’s a criminal offense. I don’t condone it in any way."

Duebbert said he placed 4X4 signs on light duty fence posts in O’Fallon. The signs were bent over as if someone attempted to cut them out, he said.

“I know my signs never survived well next to the (Judy) Cates signs," he said. "The Cates signs always seemed to be placed in front of my signs."

Lois Heisner of Pinckneyville, a volunteer for Duebbert’s campaign, said at least a dozen of Duebbert’s yard signs came down.

“His yard signs…they’ve been coming down everywhere," Heisner said. "What happens is a Judy Cates sign ends up in place of it or in front of it."

Heisner found Enyart, Costello and Lopinot signs in her yard.

“The other morning, I got up and a lot of Democratic signs were in my yard," she said. "I thought it was hilarious. Someone went around, cut the stakes off of Democratic signs and put them in my yard.

“I haven’t seen five Lopinot signs in Perry County but had at least five in my front yard. They came from up north somewhere.

“I’ve been working for Ron. I bothered somebody."

Throughout his campaign, Duebbert said he visited about 3,000 homes, participated in more than 20 parades and sent out 82,000 mailers. He also distributed 26,000 bags and distributed 25,000 silicone wrist bracelets, he said.

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