SCOTT TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — It’s that time of year when lawn signs sprout up everywhere.
But incumbent Scott Township Commissioner Bill Wells says the sign of one of his opponents was really unexpected.
“Wednesday morning when I got up there were signs that said Re-elect Herb Ohliger,” Wells told KDKA political editor Jon Delano.
But it’s Wells — not Ohliger — who is the incumbent local official.
“It isn’t possible to be reelected to a job you never held,” noted Wells.
Wells says a lot of his neighbors noticed the unusual claim.
“I did talk to the law department at Allegheny County and they said it certainly isn’t against the election rules, but they thought it was fraudulent behavior, that you certainly weren’t representing yourself for what you were,” noted Wells.
Election lawyers say no laws were broken, but it’s hard to recall another challenger who pretended to be the incumbent.
Herb Ohliger is out of town but KDKA reached him by telephone.
He says these signs were a big mistake, and he hopes to soon cover the RE in re-elect.
“They were delivered to me. I got them in the morning. My plan was to put them up before I went to work, saw it, figured okay I need to find a way to fix this,” Ohliger told Jon Delano.
“I didn’t think this was going to be a big deal because we live in a very small area. Everybody knows who we are. I thought I had time to fix it, but I was incorrect.”
Ohliger says he didn’t mean to misrepresent himself to voters.
“Most people don’t want to run as the incumbent,” he said. “It will be fixed, and I apologize to Mr. Wells.”
As for Wells’ signs which don’t say re-elect…
Delano: “You have the right to say reelect Bill Wells, but you don’t. Why not?”
Wells: “I guess it comes from my own cheapness. I had the signs from the first time I ran. I put them in the attic, and I thought for a “RE” I’m not going to spend another $150.”