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Campaign sign controversy in Ecorse may shape election

Vacant lots rented by mayoral candidate

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ECORSE, Mich. – As political games go, renting the best property, like a prominent billboard for an election sign, is essential.

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In Ecorse, some candidates are upset about a prime piece of real estate that was bought up.

On Southfield Road there are two vacant lots that, in past elections, candidates use as a free area to place campaign signs. One lot is on 2nd Street, the other is on Pepper Road.

This year, however, the lots were rented by Team Miller, led by mayoral candidate John Miller, and there's only one election sign on each property. Team Miller asked that no other candidates place signs on the properties.

Miller is running against incumbent Mayor Lamar Tidwell.

City Council candidate Patrick O'Connell has run for office three times and thinks Miller having the lots to himself is unfair.

"You're supposed to be a city that's working together and here we're taking an area with one sign saying 'Vote for me only' and you only have that one choice," said O'Connell. "I don't like to play dirty politics."

Shaunda Miller-Giles, Miller's sister and campaign adviser, thinks that if other candidates are mad, it's because they didn't think of it first.

"What we did we thought was smart, strategic and it was cost-effective," Miller-Giles said. "We just went out of the box and it seems like we're being penalized for it."

The realtor said if he had thought this was going to cause such a controversy, he would have charged a lot more money.

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