Assembly District 20 Republican candidate Dr. David Sussman, along with his wife Sondra, filed police reports last week after hundreds of campaign signs were taken off of Five Towns residents’ property and businesses.
“One or two signs is campaigning,” David Sussman said. “This was a massive elimination of signs, and it’s very, very disheartening.”
Along with the financial loss of the missing signs, the Sussmans said the thefts are a violation of the right to free speech, as well as trespassing. Both said that after years of school board elections, they’ve never encountered anything like this.
“It’s especially disrespectful because these things cost money. They’re property of the campaign,” Sondra Sussman said. “Signs are part of freedom of speech. Everyone has a right to display them.”
And it’s not only the small signs that are being taken. Larger signs, estimated to cost about $100, have been removed from fences, with their ties cut off.
“They’ve stolen virtually every sign we’ve had in the Five Towns area,” said Avi Fertig, Sussman’s campaign manager. “It’s beyond a dirty tactic. This was a very premeditated, aggressive effort.”
Josh Wanderer, who ran against Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg in 2010, said his signs also went missing during the campaign, although he never found out who was behind it.
David Sussman said he doesn’t have any proof of who is behind the thefts, but “I just know there’s one group that would benefit from them not being there.”
He urged anyone with security cameras to review their footage to see if any of the miscreants were captured on video.
“If we catch them,” he said, “we will prosecute them against the full extent of the law.”
Sussman is challenging Democratic incumbent Harvey Weisenberg.