Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that there seems to be far fewer political signs this primary season than usual?

This is just a gut feeling. I haven’t made any scientific measure to measure against the number of political signs per square feet in Santa Fe from the last election.

It just seems that there aren’t as many as usual. The municipal election earlier this year seemed to have far more than the primary. By the end of that election, as is the case for most elections, I was so sick of seeing yard signs that I couldn’t wait to see them go. This year, I keep waiting for the signs to appear.



One indicator: I haven’t received any calls from candidates complaining that their opponents are stealing or defacing their signs.

But the strangest thing about the signs in this election is that for every one I see for a gubernatorial candidate, I see four or five for various judge candidates. I mean no disrespect intended for the esteemed and important office of probate judge. But if campaign signs are any indication, people seem more excited about that primary race for that part-time position than they are about the governor’s race.

Perhaps this is connected with the high number of undecided voters — 29 percent according to the recent poll in the Albuquerque Journal — in the Democratic primary. Nobody makes signs that say, “Vote for … well, ask me later.”

(For those who haven’t kept up, there are five Democrats — Gary King, Linda Lopez, Howie Morales, Lawrence Rael and Alan Webber — running for the Democratic nomination for governor. Republican incumbent Gov. Susana Martinez has no primary opponent.)

A few signs for the gubernatorial candidates have been popping up here and there in the past couple of weeks. Still, they seem few and far between.

The one gubernatorial candidate sign I’ve heard some comment about is the large one for Lopez, located in front of a tattoo parlour on Cerrillos Road at Siler Road. I wonder whether that business is selling Linda Lopez tattoos. (Hey, there’s an idea for a fundraiser.)

If indeed the scarcity of campaign signs is a reflection of lack of enthusiasm for the five Democratic candidates running for governor, that’s definitely not a good sign for the party’s chances in November.

Speaking of signs: A few weeks ago, campaign staffers for Alan Webber were feeling nothing but good will for GOP U.S. Senate candidate Allen Weh. The Democratic gubernatorial candidates were participating at a forum at the Nativo Lodge in Albuquerque, which is right near a vacant lot where Weh supporters had planted a whole jungle of nice fresh signs for their candidate.

The signs read “Vote Allen W.”

True, Webber spells his first name differently than Weh spells his, but it was close enough. The 200 or so Democrats who surely saw the signs as they were driving in for the forum might not have known the difference. The Webber folks were happy.

Rael takes a swing: Recently in this column I praised Weh for one of his campaign events — a “shoot-off” at an Albuquerque firing rage.

“It’s good to see a candidate out doing stuff and actually having fun with people, I don’t care if it’s shooting, bowling or miniature golf,” I wrote.

I don’t know whether Lawrence Rael read that, but he did something similar last week. It wasn’t miniature golf as I’d suggested. It was the real thing.

“Please join the next governor of New Mexico Lawrence Rael Friday May 30 for a day of golf,” said a colorful announcement that Rael tweeted. The event was at Cochiti Golf Club at Cochiti Pueblo.

I chuckled though when I read the message at the bottom of the announcement: “Let’s Put New Mexico Back to Work.”

“Back to work,” is exactly what my bosses would tell me if I tried to take off a Friday for golf.

Contact Steve Terrell at sterrell@sfnewmexican.com. Read his political blog at roundhouseroundup.com.

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