'Have respect:' Candidate calls out Walker, Mallott over sign
Gov. Bill Walker’s re-election campaign says a campaign sign, placed atop one for an Anchorage mayoral candidate following his defeat last week, was an honest mistake after the candidate took to Facebook to complain.
In a Facebook video posted Saturday evening, Nelson Godoy – who received 437 votes of the nearly 79,000 cast by April 3, according to election results – partially dismantles what appears to be a sign for Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, along C Street near Cuddy Family Midtown Park.
“I was trying to recover my sign, but it was gone,” Godoy said in the video, lifting part of the Walker-Mallott sign. “As you can see right on the bottom of this sign, it is my sign that I was using.”
Godoy said Thursday that one of his signs had been taken, but no others have had Walker-Mallott signs posted on them. He had tried to retrieve the repurposed sign on Friday, but couldn't find it until he looked at the supports and recognized his own carpentry.
Lindsay Hobson, a spokeswoman for the Walker-Mallott campaign, confirmed the incident Thursday. She said the campaign has agreements with candidates in Anchorage’s recently concluded vote-by-mail election, including re-elected Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, to reuse their signage.
A volunteer was sent to C Street in the days after the election’s end to replace that sign, she said.
“We had an address for a Berkowitz sign they were supposed to put up,” Hobson said. “We knew it was a mayor sign, and the volunteer saw that sign and made the error.”
Word that the incident was a mistake came as a surprise to Godoy, who pointed out that Berkowitz signs are yellow and his are black. In addition, Berkowitz signs measure 6 feet by 4 feet; Godoy's are 8 feet by 4 feet.
"To make a mistake in that case, it’s pretty incredible," Godoy said.
The sign was taken down within hours of Godoy’s Facebook video being posted, Hobson said. Campaign staff are “well aware of the rules,” and respect other candidates as well as their property.
“We immediately called [Godoy] and apologized -- it's an isolated incident and only happened at that single location,” Hobson said. “I can absolutely assure you that the Walker campaign is not taking signs.”
Godoy said he wasn't trying to create controversy with his video, and that if the campaign had asked for permission to reuse his signs he would have given it.
"The only thing I try to tell everybody is just to have respect for everybody’s property and not take it," Godoy said.
John Thompson contributed information to this story.
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