Friday, September 07, 2007

Campaign signs already?

The Nov. 6 election is more than 10 weeks ago but candidates have already started planting campaign signs along highways in Berks County.

The first candidate out of the gate was Republican Christ Ganas, who is running for re-election to the Exeter Township Board of Supervisors. I must have passed 20 Ganas signs on my way to work.

He was quickly followed by John T. Adams, a Democrat running for Berks County District Attorney.

There are two schools of thought about political signs. The early bird avoids the clutter when all the other candidates start putting up signs. On the other hand, people tend to ignore the signs they've passed dozens of times.

Ganas may be in trouble. There's a lot of unhappy people in Exeter these days. Ganas is backing construction of a huge shopping center where the Route 422 bypass meets Business Route 422. It is the most congested area in Eastern Berks County and there's a lot of resident opposition to the shopping center. Ganas and the rest of the supervisors are behind it all the way. That could cost him votes. Ganas also led the effort to purchase the Reading Country Club to keep it out of the hands of developers. But the township now finds itself the owner of a golf course and banquet facility that is not making money.

The other early-bird, Adams, may be doing the right thing with putting up signs early. He was a write-in candidate in the May primary and is facing Republican incumbent Mark Baldwin, who has served as Berks County District Attorney for the past 16 years. Adams has an uphill battle for name recognition and campaign cash. He could use all the publicity he can get.

On the other hand, Baldwin has alienated the law enforcement community in Berks and is not exactly a dynamic campaigner. This race will be a lot closer than people think.

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