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Local candidates clean up the city -- literally

Posted at 9:54 PM, Nov 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-06 00:38:56-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Corpus Christi City Council At-Large Member-Elect John Martinez was out taking down campaign signs Thursday.

No one told him to -- there's no longer a rule on the books that says election signs must be taken down by a certain date. A court struck down such requirements in 2016 calling them unconstitutional.

But many candidates -- Martinez included -- are voluntarily taking down their signs anyway so they don't become eyesores.

“Most people want to get the signs down," he said. "Elected officials, they don’t want to do anything that will upset constituents. It’s still just the proper thing to do, and it’s the right thing to do.”

Martinez estimates that 40 percent of his signs already have been removed from the 80 locations where his campaign posted them throughout the city.

He continued making the rounds today, and hopes to have them all down by the end of the weekend.

“It’s a very physical job," he said. "There’s a lot of work to it -- taking the signs up, taking the posts up. But if you have the right tools, it makes it a lot easier.”

Martinez may have the tools, but with no rules in place requiring candidates to remove their signs, will they linger for months after Election Day?

Corpus Christi City Secretary Rebecca Huerta is confident that won't happen, but she did urge candidates to complete their civic duty.

"The election is over," she said. "As a courtesy -- as part of keeping our city clean and nice-looking -- we would encourage them to pick up their signs at this point, since they’re not needed.”

Campaign signs are still needed for candidates involved in Dec. 15 runoff elections, and Huerta said those can remain in place.

Martinez -- who's run for office several times before -- is happy his race is over, because he said it makes the sign-removal process a little easier.

“I’ve been on both sides (of election outcomes)," he said. "It’s much better doing it after winning.”