Where are D.C.’s oldest extant political signs?

There was some Twitter talk yesterday about old political signs — as in, where is the oldest campaign paraphernalia still gracing/marring the District streetscape?

Is it a sign for Tom Brown’s 2011 at-large D.C. Council campaign, still hanging in Columbia Heights? One from Clark Ray’s 2010 at-large bid, up in Adams Morgan? Perhaps a couple of John Ray for Mayor stickers, vintage 1994, on a Capitol Hill lamppost? Or some stickers for former Ward 1 council member Frank Smith — who ran five times between 1982 and 1998 — up in Park View?

My submission: Three bumper stickers from an unspecified reelection campaign for former Council chairman Dave Clarke, stuck to a rusted-over sign at the intersection of Gallatin Street and New Hampshire Avenue NW in the Brightwood Park area.

They could date to 1986, Clarke’s first reelection; 1993, his special election bid to replace the late John A. Wilson; or 1994, his final campaign before his 1997 death from cancer at age 53. (He gave up the chairmanship in 1990 to run for mayor.)

Got a favorite old political sign around town? Drop me a line via e-mail or tweet — preferably with pictures!

By the way, candidates generally have 30 days to remove their signs from public spaces after an election.

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.


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