"...she is someone who has a history of beating the odds." –The Sheet

"Use yard sign graphics to choose a candidate," The Inyo Register, June 4, 2022

"Kody Jae­ger used blue and orange, another break from tra­di­tion, and included a styl­ized Nat­ive Amer­ican sym­bol in her tagline, “Stronger Together.” She was also the only can­did­ate to list a webpage on a sign in a nod to our mod­ern digital world."

Since Elec­tion Day is just around the corner we can assume all true-blue, free­dom-lov­ing Amer­ican pat­ri­ots in Inyo County already have filled out their bal­lot and sent them in to be coun­ted.

 

But there is always an inde­cis­ive minor­ity still cling­ing to their bal­lot because they haven’t made up their minds. These are dili­gent par­ti­cipants in our Repub­lic (say the word “demo­cracy” and I will club you with a column full of defin­i­tions and Found­ing Fath­ers quotes). They are try­ing to make the right choice and are pour­ing over webpages, news art­icles, advert­ise­ments, watch­ing video replays of can­did­ate night dis­cus­sions, and grilling friends, neigh­bors, strangers in line at the gro­cery store and baris­tas for their opin­ions.

 

Even with all that inform­a­tion, some might still be har­bor­ing doubts, fears and fantas­ies about the slate of local can­did­ates.

 

That leaves one final means of judging a can­did­ate: assess­ing the graphic style of each can­did­ate as dis­played by their yard signs. Those little square boards on tiny metal sticks stuck in lawns throughout the town can reveal deep and abid­ing truths about those who approved the col­ors, graph­ics, lay­out and word­ing

 

A good yard sign, in other words, can turn a doubt­ing Thomas into an eager sup­porter.

 

Let’s look at the can­did­ates for Sher­iff first.

 

Cur­rent Sher­iff Eric Pritchard used blue and gold stripes and a simple mes­sage. Put­ting aside blue and gold are the col­ors of the Ukrain­ian flag, it was a bold choice to forgo red, white and blue, so maybe he’s not tied to tra­di­tion.

 

Stephanie Ren­nie went with blue and red and white let­ter­ing with a lay­out that doesn’t scream but gets the mes­sage across. She added the catch­phrase, “Build­ing Unity With the Com­munity,” sug­gest­ing that might be cur­rently lack­ing.

 

Kelvin John­son went all in with the pat­ri­otic col­ors and added an Amer­ican flag motive, to boot. He’s also the only can­did­ate to state his sign was paid for by his elec­tion com­mit­tee. A let­ter of the law move.

 

Joe Vet­ter went for vis­ib­il­ity with let­ter­ing on the white part of his sign and the tagline, “Lead­er­ship & Integ­rity,” which can be seen as a prom­ise or a hint of what he sees as need­ing some work.

 

The two super­visor races res­ul­ted in some inter­est­ing sign choices. Let’s start with Dis­trict 1, basic­ally north of Bishop.

 

Tina Orrill was to the point with a red sign and white let­ters with “Orrill 1st Dis­trict Super­visor.” No tagline and the only can­did­ate to leave off a first name imply­ing most folks know her and what she stands for.

 

Jeff Gab­riel got all sorts of graphic, with brown swoops, light blue back­ground, a little boxed graphic and gen­er­ally buck­ing the red, white and blue cliché to set him­self apart. His tagline, “Genu­ine * Ser­vice * Lead­er­ship.”

 

Carl Hoelscher was the only can­did­ate using his photo, a shot of him smil­ing in his Amer­ican Legion hat to go along with an Amer­ican flag. Clear mes­saging, there.

 

Dis­trict 3 includes the entire Bishop Paiute Shos­hone Reser­va­tion, a chunk of West Bishop and on up the hill.

 

Kody Jae­ger used blue and orange, another break from tra­di­tion, and included a styl­ized Nat­ive Amer­ican sym­bol in her tagline, “Stronger Together.” She was also the only can­did­ate to list a webpage on a sign in a nod to our mod­ern digital world.

 

Scott E. Mar­cel­lin didn’t do much graphic design, with just a small photo of the Sierra and his name on a white sign, bank­ing on his exist­ing name recog­ni­tion.

 

Todd Vogel was the only can­did­ate to go ver­tical with his sign, which makes sense since he’s a moun­tain guy who goes “ver­tical” routinely. Big blue back­ground and red waves are a break from the routine sign approach.

 

David Lent went red, white and blue with straight lines and no flour­ishes, sig­nal­ing a dir­ect, straight­for­ward approach.

 

There you have it. Take your pick.

 

([The authorJon Klus­mire of Bishop con­siders read­ing deep mean­ing into yard signs is a skill akin to read­ing Tarot cards.)