‘Horrible’: Topeka mayoral candidates react to photos of woman taking campaign sign

More shenanigans in the Topeka mayoral race emerged a day after candidates Michelle De La Isla and Spencer Duncan advanced from the primary election when photos emerged of a campaign sign being stolen out of a man’s yard.


As polls were preparing to close Tuesday, a member of Duncan’s church published images of a woman taking Duncan’s campaign signs.

Both De La Isla and Duncan condemned the action Wednesday morning when reached by The Capital-Journal.

“I just think it’s horrible that somebody’s doing that,” De La Isla said.

“I have no patience for this on any level. If I ever catch anyone who would do this, I would out them,” Duncan said if he knew of someone on his campaign that was stealing signs. “I want this election to be about the issues, not about taking signs.”

The photo post, made at 6:19 p.m. Tuesday on the personal Facebook page of Topekan Hud Hamilton, show five photos of a woman getting out of a car, grabbing a sign, and getting back into a car.

“THIEF This lady has been stealing Spencer Duncan’s political signs ( 4 from my yard ),” the Facebook post read. “Does anyone recognize her. Please repost so can find someone that knows her name.”

Hamilton, who lives at S.W. 17th and Mcallister, said the photos came from a game camera, and one appears to show Duncan’s green and yellow sign.

“This is a new age and everyone these days has cameras,” Hamilton said. “You can’t get away with stuff that you used to.”

Hamilton — who didn’t recognize the woman in the pictures — said he bought the camera just for the purpose of catching the thief.

“I was really happy to get the picture,” Hamilton said of the picture that was captured at about 2:40 p.m. Tuesday while he was at work. “Now they’ll probably come back and get my camera.”

The four signs that have been stolen have all been taken in the past two weeks, Hamilton said, adding he keeps putting up a new one each time.

He said he couldn’t get a good view of the car’s license plate because the camera was hidden in the bush, and the angle didn’t allow for it.

Citing Duncan, Hamilton said “the signs are only $3 a piece, but it is property that is being stolen. The money adds up.” Hamilton said he hadn’t notified police of the incident.

Both Duncan and De La Isla said they didn’t know the woman or who was responsible for the incident.

“I was not involved in it,” Duncan said.

“I’m 100 percent not involved in the incident,” De La Isla said. “I can assure you on my children’s live this has nothing to do me.”

De La Isla said she was aware of the issue, as Duncan had been posting on social media about his signs getting stolen.

“I really wish whoever is doing this that they get caught,” De La Isla said. “That’s the big thing. I hope this person gets caught.”

The city councilwoman said she really hasn’t a problem with her signs getting stolen.

“It’s not displaying kindness or respect for personal property,” De La Isla said. “People need to start acting professionally.”

The Topeka mayoral primary election was held Tuesday night, and De La Isla was the top vote-getter while Duncan earned the second spot on the Nov. 7 general election ballot.

De La Isla garnered 41.29 percent of the vote among the five candidates, while Duncan brought in 21.19 percent of the vote.

The sign-stealing situation comes after another recent incident where last-minute postcards labeling Topeka mayoral candidates as political party members were sent out to Topeka residents.

This story is developing and will be updated.