Forsyth County Board of Education candidate Dennis Scheidt issued an online apology on Wednesday, May 4, after the current BOE Chairman and incumbent Wes McCall’s campaign sign was covered by his own.
Scheidt is running for the District 1 seat, challenging McCall in the May 24 General Primary and Nonpartisan General Election.
While the two candidates have never publicly clashed, a photo was posted to social media yesterday of one of McCall’s campaign signs that commenters said was put up on private property. Several of Scheidt’s campaign signs were placed over McCall’s, obstructing it from view.
Scheidt posted an apology to McCall on social media.
“This does not reflect the beliefs of myself or my campaign,” Scheidt wrote in the post. “An individual took this action on their own. I do not condone this kind of behavior in the name of politics. Our parents and children deserve for us to work together for the betterment of our community.”
Scheidt told the Forsyth County News that he doesn’t know who put the signs over McCall’s, but it was someone “outside of his campaign.”
“I just know that it happened, and it shouldn’t have,” Scheidt said. “I didn’t do it, and no one on my campaign did.”
After posting his apology, some of the comments criticized Scheidt for posting it to the ‘Concerned Parents of Forsyth County Georgia’ Facebook group, a private group of which McCall is not a member.
Scheidt said the apology was posted on several different Facebook pages, including his campaign page, ‘Dennis Scheidt for Board of Education.’ McCall said he did see the online apology after someone shared it with him.
McCall’s wife, Kima, commented on one of the posts saying that the sign was from her husband’s previous campaign and held sentimental value for their family.
Wes McCall said their son “took a lot of pride in the first election,” and ever since, he has displayed the sign on his bedroom wall. McCall said he asked to “borrow” the sign from his son for the current campaign and assured him that it would be returned to that spot on his wall.
Kima said that after removing Scheidt’s campaign signs, her husband’s old one was ruined, with pieces torn off and bits of the ink removed due to the tape used.
While the apology was posted online, McCall told the Forsyth County News that he has not received any personal calls or messages from Scheidt’s campaign.
“For me, I prefer to talk with someone directly than exchange words on a computer,” McCall told the FCN. “It’s why I buy so much coffee in a year.”
Scheidt said he planned to reach out to McCall to apologize and “reimburse the McCall campaign for any financial losses due to this irresponsible action.”
McCall said that this is the first time he has seen “anything of this nature from any campaign.”
“I entered this realm four years ago because I believe I have the ability to bring willing people together for the good of the community,” McCall said. “And I continue today for the same reasons. I refuse to win on a campaign and campaign tactics. I want to be elected on my merit.”
As commenters criticized the post, Scheidt said he was deeply sorry for the incident and emphasized that he and no one on his campaign were involved in covering McCall’s sign.
Scheidt said he cannot control individuals outside of his campaign who decide to vandalize other signs but urged his supporters to be respectful to other candidates and residents in the community.
“No matter how we disagree, let's always treat one another with kindness and respect,” Scheidt wrote in his post.