Fields’ campaign signs stolen

Published 12:59 am Thursday, April 17, 2008

NATCHEZ — Ward 4 alderman candidate Ernest “Tony” Fields said his campaign signs were plucked from yards across town Tuesday night— even his own.

The seizure of his signs, over 100 of them, has seriously miffed his campaign team, but Fields remains calm.

“I’m not letting it bother me,” he said. “I just have to get more (signs) out there.”

Email newsletter signup

His day began Wednesday with a few phone calls from residents telling him that their signs were gone from their yards.

“I told them, ‘Don’t worry about it. I have more, I can replace them for you,’” he said. “But when I walked out of my own house and saw the signs were gone, that’s when I kind of got alarmed.”

Fields said he is certain the culprit is not one of his Ward 4 opponents.

“I don’t think that this is coming from either one of my opponents, I believe that in my heart,” he said. “I’m close to both of them and we’ve talked and agreed to keep everything clean and we’ve done that the whole way through.”

“I’m just going to assume that it was a prank and move on.”

Fields said what he is most upset about is not the disappearing signs, but that this incident is combative to the efforts of his campaign team.

“I just feel really bad for the people who volunteered to help me because they got the signs out and they worked really hard,” Fields said.

Campaign worker Terri McGruder said the campaigning for Fields has been a lot of work.

“We’ve spent days, we’ve walked all over Old Washington Road, in the rain, knocking on doors, placing signs, respecting everybody’s opinion,” she said.

The attitude that remains among the Fields’ camp is not one of defeat.

“We fall down but we get up,” McGruder said. “We’ve gotten up and now we’re even stronger.”

Fields said he felt the same way.

“It’s disappointing but I’m just going to keep moving forward,” Fields said. “Signs are important but the votes are most important.”

Natchez Police Chief Mike Mullins said this is not unusual during election season.

“It’s common to have signs taken,” he said.

He advised that the theft of the campaign signs is petit larceny and the thief can be arrested for this crime.

“Anyone who has any knowledge, if they would please give us the information, then if we can gather enough evidence we’ll make an arrest,” Mullins said.

Incumbent alderman for Ward 4 Theodore “Bubber” West said he offered to help Fields replace his signs.

“I don’t know what type of politics they’re playing but it’s not fair to any of the candidates to do that,” West said. “I think that’s the most stupid thing I’ve ever heard in my life.”

Even West has fallen victim to having signs stolen from East Franklin and St. Catherine streets as well as around Cedar Hurst and St. Francis Apartments.

Donnell Newsome, the other opponent for Ward 4, said he has no idea why someone would feel compelled to remove the signs.

“I’m sorry about it because they cost money, they’re expensive and for someone to do that is outrageous,” Newsome said.

He said last time he ran for office he had many of his signs stolen as well.

“Signs don’t go up and register, they don’t vote so I have no idea why someone would move a sign,” he said.

Fields said he hoped to replace new signs by Wednesday evening.