CARTHAGE, Tenn. – Campaign signs span yard after yard across the newly drawn House District 40 where incumbent Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver faces her democratic challenger, Sarah Marie Smith.
Smith says recently reports of stolen signs have been coming in from across the new district, which includes Trousdale, Smith and pieces of Sumner and DeKalb counties.
"It had to be organized because there's too many got gone at one time," said Gallatin tobacco farmer Robert Walker, who is also a Smith campaign volunteer. Walker says signs were stolen out of his and his neighbors' yards.
"What goes on in a person's yard is really their business, you know. I don't bother other people's signs. I got pretty angry about it," he said Wednesday.
Smith says she know of at least 100 signs stolen from all four counties last weekend alone, costing her campaign roughly $1,500.
"It's terrible because it's not only illegal, it's really wrong," she said. "I thought probably we would miss a few signs here and there, but I never thought someone might just sweep in overnight and take a major chunk of our signs."
It's gotten so bad her campaign is now offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to who could be behind it. Smith says of all the nearly $3,000 they've spent on signs, roughly half of them are now missing.
"That many signs couldn't suddenly go missing without this being a concerted effort of some sort," she said.
The fight for District 40 will continue until Election Day with fewer signs, as Smith hopes whoever is responsible either returns them or gets caught before even more disappear.
"I believe in forgiveness, but they stepped over the line," Walker went on to say.
A spokesperson for Rep. Weaver's campaign said Wednesday they've had as many as 45 signs stolen so far this election year, costing them $735. They say during the last election, they lost even more.