Campaign signs reported missing

WESTFIELD – As the campaigning season draws toward its Nov. 4 conclusion, both candidates for the state representative seat from the Westfield area are reporting that their lawn signs are being stolen in the city.
The race is a rematch between Dan Allie and John Velis of their special election contest in April to fill the vacancy created when Don Humason vacated his seat representing the 4th Hampden district in the state house of representatives.
Velis won the special election but is now defending his seat against Allie who is again running for the position.
Andrew Surprise, Allie’s campaign manager, reports in a press release issued Sunday that residents of Wards 3 and 4A are reporting “campaign signs being stolen from their yard and their neighbor’s yards, in what appears to be “targeted activity against only one candidate.”
Surprise said that the missing signs have been stolen in Wards 3 and 4A on Northwest Road, Bates Road, Lloyds Hill, Western Avenue, Wintergreen Lane, Mockingbird Lane and Marla Circle.
He said that one supporter discovered a batch of signs promoting his candidate behind a refuse receptacle on Elm Street and those signs were recovered.
He quoted Aliie as saying “Some sign locations have been targeted in certain neighborhoods and have had to be replaced up to 5 times each. Some people have been pressured to take down their signs.”
John Velis said that his campaign has suffered similar depredations and said “we have had countless, countless, countless lawn signs stolen.”
“It’s been a huge problem” he said adding “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten a phone call from an angry supporter saying ‘Your sign’s been stolen again.’”
Velis said that the operative word is “again.”
City police report that residents have reported lawns signs being stolen twice in recent weeks. In one case the candidate whose signs were stolen was not specified and in the other instance a ‘Velis’ signs was reportedly stolen.

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