Mayor’s supporter calls Clarke out for election sign error

Remember 1998 and 2002 when Florida voters elected as its governor a man known by many as “Jeb”?

Bradenton Beach Vice Mayor Jack Clarke’s campaign against Mayor Bill Shearon in the May 19 recall election includes yard signs that ask: “Do you know Jack.”

The signs appear in various places in Bradenton Beach, most notably on Bridge Street.

Improper punctuation aside, the sign is red, white and blue and apparently plays on a punch line: You don’t know Jack? — a phrase used to belittle someone who doesn’t know or understand the topic.

But after word of the signs started percolating on Anna Maria Island, a Bradenton Beach resident took notice and emailed Clarke to tell him his signs violate Florida’s election laws.

Lee Anne Metz told Clarke in an email that his signs must include the word “for” between his name and the office he seeks — that of mayor.

Clarke, who could not be reached for comment, sent Metz an email saying, “Your concerns will be addressed immediately.”

Metz said her research determined that non-incumbents must use the word “for” with the office sought in the body of advertisements.

Metz further questioned the use of the candidate’s full name but found no such regulation.

Metz wrote Clarke back, and called the “for” requirement “inconsequential.”

Bradenton Beach Chief Sam Speciale said he planned to alert both candidates to bring any issues regarding their campaign signs into compliance. Shearon is required to state re-elect on his signs, and his advertising appears to comply.

As of press time for The Islander, Clarke’s signs did not appear to be in compliance.

Ed Scott

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