Commuters passing the McClintock Drive exit on Loop 202 still see her wide smile and biceps flex, a month after the last votes in her successful campaign were counted.
“Jan Brewer For Governor,” reads the billboard, fashioned after the women-to-work posters during World War II. It is the highest-profile example of a campaign that — on some streets and corners in the East Valley — has not ended.
“I get around the state a bit, and that’s the only one I’ve still seen recently,” said Doug Cole, communications director for the Brewer campaign.
The billboard is not a reflection of lax campaign cleanup — Cole said, per Clean Elections laws, the ad contract expired on Nov. 1, and the space has evidently not been re-sold. A representative from Gila River Displays, which operates the billboard, did not return phone messages.
However, signs that are campaign property still dot streets, a minor annoyance to those who abhor the pollution of placards on many corners during election season. Local governments typically require campaigns to remove signs no later than 10 days after an election.
As late as last week, multiple signs were still out on such major streets as Broadway Road in Mesa, Kyrene Road in Tempe and Chandler and Cooper Road in Chandler. Many of those signs have finally been taken down by the campaigns or code compliance officers on the lookout.
“I’ve been driving around this week and haven’t seen very many,” said Tammy Albright, Mesa code compliance deputy director. “We’ve done a good job getting them, I think. I saw one the other day, but I couldn’t pull over because I was in the far lane. If I pass it again, I’ll be sure to pick it up.”
Canvassing by Tribune staffers turned up Andrew Sherwood signs on the southeast corner of Baseline Road and Mesa Drive and at McKellips Road and Loop 202. Sherwood lost to Russell Pearce in the District 18 Senate race.
Cecil Ash, re-elected to the state House in District 18, still has a sign plugging his candidacy on the Southeast corner of Mesa Drive and Southern Avenue. Karl Kohloff, who ran for the Central Arizona Water Conservation District board, has a placard at Chandler Boulevard and McQueen Road in Chandler.
At least those candidates made it to the general election.
The award for most enduring signage goes to Buz Mills, the gubernatorial candidate who dropped out prior to the Republican primary in July. His campaign still has a presence on the northeast corner of Pecos and Cooper roads in Chandler, although the sign is somewhat inconspicuous because it has fallen down.
Cole said that picking up thousands of signs after an election is not a simple undertaking.
“You send crews out, but a campaign, you get volunteers putting up thousands of signs, so you don’t know where all of them are,” Cole said. “We’re talking about thousands of them. When I see one, I’ll stop and pick one up, but it might take more than a month to get them all taken down.”
Jeff Tamulevich, code enforcement administrator in Tempe, said that he typically does not have to pester campaigns about sign removal.
“The candidates are fairly responsive,” Tamulevich said. “We haven’t had a problem with candidates removing their signs. They might forget one or two in a couple locations, but a phone call usually takes care of it.”
Mesa sent a letter to campaigns stating that, after Nov. 29, signs would be removed and recycled.
“We gave them the 10 days after the election, as the law says, and an extra two weeks,” Albright said. “If we see them out after that, we can assume the campaigns don’t want them. We’ve picked up a handful so far.”