By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Cumming City Council candidates report campaign signs disappearing
signs

CUMMING — The fair is in town, football season is in full swing and the weather is cooling down, yet a less savory fall tradition is also unfolding in Cumming.

At least two candidates in the Nov. 3 city council election have been reporting that their campaign signs are disappearing. Guy McBrayer and Dana Sexton, who are among five people running for the Post 4 seat, have filed police reports for the missing signs.

“I put my signs up and came back a few days later and three or four of them were gone,” McBrayer said. “I don’t know who’s been doing it, but I know someone put two or three in my place … I can’t prove that they did it.”

Both candidates say their signs were placed legally, and that they have alerted authorities.

“I’ve been reporting it to the police every time,” Sexton said. “It’s like [the sign takers] are stalking me, especially the one [taken on Wednesday.] And they’re missing all over town.”

Officials with Cumming police could not be reached for comment on the matter. However, a city ordinance has political signs listed under “expression signs,” which involve “the expression of any idea that could be characterized as free speech.”

In police reports filed for the stolen signs, the crimes are listed as “theft by taking $1,500 or less,” which is a misdemeanor. No suspects have been identified.

While it remains unclear who’s responsible, both McBrayer and Sexton said signs for other candidates have popped up after theirs went missing.

Campaigns typically cost between $5 and $10, and are purchased in bulk. McBrayer, who works in auto sales, said at least five of his have vanished.

“Those things cost money and we put them up — and I’ve got permission to put them up — in people’s yards. And someone took them down,” he said. “I just can’t understand why people can’t do stuff without trying to destroy someone else.”

McBrayer notified Sexton about a couple of her signs, which she said have been “going missing left and right.”

“[Someone] stole one of mine just about five minutes after I put it out [Wednesday],” said Sexton, a former small business owner and the wife of former longtime Post 1 Councilman Rupert Sexton.

“Earlier [Thursday] morning, I came down and one had been stolen from last night. That was the fourth one.”

Advance voting for the election, which features contests for Post 3, 4 and 5, opened Monday at City Hall.

Only those living within the city limits can vote in the council races, though balloting is citywide. Cumming has about 2,600 registered voters.

For both races, the top vote-getter will win, and no runoff is necessary if he or she fails to get 50 percent of the vote plus one vote.

Post 3 incumbent Lewis Ledbetter does not face opposition for the seat he has held since 1971.

For Post 4, the five-person race also features attorney Christopher Light, former Forsyth County commissioner Marcus “Jack” Shoemake and small business owner Avery Stone.

The Post 5 race pits Linda Ledbetter, a former Forsyth County commissioner, retired educator and first cousin of Lewis Ledbetter, and real estate agent and small business owner Julie Tressler.