Knox County Clerk candidate accuses opponent of removing campaig

Knox County Clerk candidate accuses opponent of removing campaign signs

Posted:
Knox County Clerk candidate Mike Padgett is accusing opponent Foster Arnett or his supporters of removing his signs. Knox County Clerk candidate Mike Padgett is accusing opponent Foster Arnett or his supporters of removing his signs.
Arnett denies the accusations. Arnett denies the accusations.
By JILL MCNEAL
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A candidate for Knox County Clerk is causing a stir on Facebook, accusing the incumbent of stealing his campaign signs. Former clerk and Democrat Mike Padgett is taking on the current clerk, Republican Foster Arnett, in the August 7 election.

Padgett posted: "Fair warning to Foster Arnett !!! If you, or either one of your friends tear down or steal another one of our signs, the Padgett Posse Patrol will immediately elevate this problem. You have been accused of this childish act in the past, and I thought that you may have grown up."

Padgett declined an interview, saying he hoped nothing else would happen since he posted that warning.

Arnett wouldn't do an interview either, but said: "The accusation is ludicrous. I have a job. I don't have time to go around messing with yard signs. He's not getting any traction. This just shows desperation on his part. We don't take other people's signs."

Knox County Election Administrator Cliff Rodgers says he gets a few calls about so-called stolen signs each year.

"We are not the sign police," he said. "They think they know who did it, then we tell them to call the attorney general. Usually, they're just making inference that it had to be the opposing candidate or more likely the supporters."

We stopped by Wright's Cafeteria this afternoon to see what voters think.

"If you're on a candidate's side one way or the other, sign stealing probably isn't going to be at the top of the list of things you're worried about it," said Kimberly Satterfield.

"If you get in politics today, it's a dirty game. Whatever you do, it's fair game," said Dewitt Ingram.

Knox County rules say all these campaign signs have to picked up by five days after the election, but the election administrator says there's really no one to enforce that.

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