More illegal campaign signs popped up in the recall against state Senate President Russell Pearce, this time by opponent Olivia Cortes.
The Cortes signs went up just as Mesa was ordering Pearce supporters to remove 300 signs that the city said were illegal.
Mesa contacted Cortes to inform her campaign signs can’t go up until Sept. 9, said Christine Zielonka, Mesa’s development services director. Arizona law prohibits signs until 60 days before an election.
Mesa informed Cortes the city would take down the signs if she didn’t. It was unclear what the candidate would do, Zielonka said.
Cortes did not return a call from the Tribune.
Mesa had threatened to remove 300 signs posted by Citizens Who Oppose the Pearce Recall on Monday, days after informing the group the signs were illegal. The group agreed at first, then refused hours later. The group changed its mind again over the weekend, Zielonka said.
“We simply got an email saying they had taken them all down. We were good with that, pleased even,” Zielonka said.
The large, red signs targeted recall organizer Randy Parraz. He is not a candidate in the recall.
The signs came down the same day time a sign-removal volunteer group was taking down illegal commercial signs in Mesa. The city-organized team was working on its regular monthly schedule and has standing orders not to remove political signs, Zielonka said.
The Cortes signs are likely the only illegal ones in the city, Zielonka said. The city spotted one yard sign for candidate Jerry Lewis in the downtown area. The city is checking whether it is in a yard, in which case it would be OK, Zielonka said. The city can only regulate signs in the public right-of-way.
The recall candidates to date are Lewis, Cortes and attorney Michael Kielsky. Lewis, a charter school executive, is the only one so far to give the Arizona Secretary of State the 621 signatures required to get on the Nov. 8 ballot.
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