Signage: I’m not feeling the Love in the 50th, and the Return of Burma Shave

I am a Manassas boy by birth, and my father still lives there, so I follow politics in Prince William County with some interest…which leads me to ask what is the story in the 50th?

Now the in the know politico is aware there is a special election on tap to select a new delegate for Virginia House District 50 following the death of long time Delegate Harry Parrish. This district is traditionally conservative, and has been reliably GOP, and prior to that Byrd Democrat, and prior to that Martin Machine, all the way back to the Age of Pericles.

I wonder about that now…

Yesterday I was down to Manassas to see my father and help him run some errands. The trip took us all over town. I saw plenty of Wolf signs and Allen signs, a couple of Webb signs, and a couple of Rishell signs, and no Feder signs.

What struck me was the dearth of Jackson Miller signs.

Miller is a city councilman and the GOP nominee. He is opposed by Democrat Jeanette Rishell. I expected to see a lot more signage for Miller as I trawled around town, but there were far fewer than I expected.

You may think “maybe you missed them.” This is not an unreasonable sentiment. However, it would be easier to miss the Rishell signs. They are of the same cookie cutter color palette of white lettering on blue background as you see with Allen, Webb, Davis, and Hurst.

Miller, on the other other hand, has something a little more vibrant:

This is a sign that you can easily pick out while driving by, and remember after seeing it…or notice when you don’t see a lot of them.

I don’t pretend to know if this is indicative of anything…for all I know, there is a massive sign campaign set for Saturday that will turn the whole of the 50th district into a running Miller sign. I do know that I expected to see more signs. As my old pal Carman might say, this should be a “state your presence with author-t-tay” type of race, where the GOP pushes Miller through to a huge win and locks down this seat for a decade.

We shall see…

On a different sign front, on a detour on my way home to spend a B&N birthday gift card, I see the old Burma Shave sign technique is being rolled out by the Democrats.

For those who don’t remember, Burma Shave was a shaving cream that to advertise would post a series of small signs that displayed a small rhyme then the words Burma Shave!. They went into use in 1925, and by 1963 had been displaced by television and billboards. Examples can be seen here.

The Democrats have signs up in the median of Va. 50 between I-66 and the next traffic light heading west (Fair Lakes Drive? Promenade?), using the same technique:

Sign #1-Had Enough
Sign #2-Republican Corruption?
Sign #3-Vote Democratic!

If not the exact words, fairly close to the original. If the signs had the Miller Red color scheme, I probably would have seen them better and remembered them better…but that is a supposition, because I didn’t see enough of the Miller signs in Manassas to really test the color scheme.

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