Campaign signs: feuding over the word ‘for’ in Watertown mayoral race

Published: Jul. 25, 2023 at 5:15 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - What’s in a word? In the race for Watertown mayor, one word has the two candidates feuding.

It’s election season. Watertown city streets are dotted with campaign signs.

But, one that reads “Compo Pierce Mayor” is drawing criticism from Compo Pierce’s opponent, Lisa Ruggiero.

“A lot of people are turned off by politics and they don’t follow the news and so there are some people who really truly may not know who is in office and who is running,” said Ruggiero.

Ruggiero feels Compo Pierce is misleading city residents by not including the word “for” on her signs.

“I think it is pointing out the difference to people and making sure that they realize that she is not running for reelection or anything like that; she is running for the position for the first time just like me,” said Ruggiero.

In response, Compo Pierce says her signage is common practice and does not violate election law. She adds her opponent is trying to shy away from the bigger issues at hand.

“My campaign’s focus is talking about the issues and demonstrating to people why I have the experience and are the best candidate to be mayor. I won’t engage in negative campaigning. I won’t engage in the mudslinging,” said Compo Pierce.

Compo Pierce says Ruggiero fails to mention the sign’s wording is similar to others running for city council, like Leonard Spaziani, whom Compo Pierce says Ruggiero supports.

Spaziani says that is not the case.

“I should have never been dragged into this. It was planned by them, period. She is lying if she says, well, maybe if she is assuming that I conspired with Lisa on that. I knew nothing about it,” he said.

Spaziani has new signs going up that include the word “for” but he says he decided a while ago to switch his signs.