Due to new state law, campaign lawn signs can now be posted on Friday, June 25. This is a change from the previous date of August 1. While many campaigns are readying for that date, there are at least a couple reasons why you may want to reconsider.
- Do you have the money to purchase all your lawn signs and supplies (sign stands, rebar, post pounders and cable ties) at one time? Lawn signs are one of the major purchases your campaign will make. If you want to run a competitive campaign, you’ll want to find locations for at least 300 (or more) signs in a House race, 500 (or more) in a Senate race. Expect to spend several thousand dollars for signs, rebar, sign stands and the other necessary supplies. Regardless of from whom you purchase your signs (and P2B Strategies has great prices on signs), you will always get your best price by purchasing all your signs at once, rather than on a piecemeal basis. The cost per sign is much less when you purchase 300 vs. three orders of 100. The only exception is if you purchase two or more sizes of signs. Under this scenario, you could buy all your small or large signs at one time and save the purchase of the other size for down the road.
- Do you have your locations secured? Unless you’re an incumbent or have access to signs lists from previous candidates, you may not have your locations secured so a June 25 posting is a moot point.
- There is a lot of “mowing” time in July and early August and some sign supporters, after you’ve worked hard to get the location and had volunteers put it in, will move the sign to mow. This inevitably causes maintenance problems. Also don’t be surprised if a lot of the signs that were “temporarily” taken down to mow never find their way back to the lawn and instead live the rest of their campaign life in the comfort of a shaded garage. Or how about this scenario. The candidate or sign volunteer sees the sign in a yard one day, but down the next, and proceeds to replace the sign that was removed to mow. Now you’ve got the same problem times two. While this problem can occur at any time, a later sign posting date makes it less likely.
- The sign of a disorganized and sloppy campaign is signs that are falling down, crooked, blowing in the wind, bent over and otherwise not maintained. Are you prepared to maintain and police your signs for the additional time necessary if you post them the weekend of June 25? Lawn signs are an important part of your campaign. But they also create an enormous amount of work. If you don’t have the volunteers to do regular sign maintenance, it’s better to wait. The candidate should not be spending time doing sign maintenance. The candidate should spend time doorknocking.
- The downside is that if you wait, you won’t be the first candidate to post signs, so you do lose some of the early name I.D. that comes from being first. On the other hand, the DFL gubernatorial primary means Dayton, Kelliher Anderson and Entenza will likely be the first race to post signs anyway.
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