PORT TOWNSEND — Last October, with the presidential election near, the Jefferson County Democrats ordered a batch of Biden-Harris signs from Capitol City Press in Olympia.
“People were chitchatting,” said Libby Urner Wennstrom, the vice chair of the local Democrats who’s now running for Position 5 on the Port Townsend City Council.
“Why are we going to Olympia” for the signs? someone asked.
Wennstrom said the answer, during this conversation, was that Capitol City is a union shop that uses recycled materials.
Last week, she told the Peninsula Daily News these were the reasons she chose that same shop to print her city council campaign signs.
After Tyler Vega, one of her opponents in the Aug. 3 primary election, questioned her assertion that her signs were made with recycled plastic, Wennstrom checked into it and learned she’d been wrong.
“I hadn’t looked into it myself, and I should have,” she said Friday.
“It was a misunderstanding. That’s on me.”
Vega has emphasized that his signs are “upcycled.” As a climate activist, he seeks to avoid adding single-use plastic items to the environment.Vega and his campaign volunteers obtained signs from Amanda Funaro’s 2020 run for Jefferson County commissioner, painted over them and stenciled on a reusable message: “Vote Vega.”
Wennstrom said she was surprised Vega targeted her over her signs.
“We’ve had a good working relationship,” while running for the City Council seat, along with Sky Hardesty-Thompson, who is also vying for Position 5.
Vega, highly skeptical when he first called Wennstrom out about what he thought was a falsehood, has since said he’s inclined to “de-escalate.”
“I really want to work with Libby long-term,” he said, whichever candidate wins.
For her part, Wennstrom said she intends to be elected to the council and, after four years, consider running for re-election — when she’d reuse her campaign signs.
She added that some have apparently been stolen in recent days. Hardesty-Thompson also reported that he had 10 campaign signs printed at The Station Signs and Screen Printing in Port Hadlock and posted four of them; he believes the two that have disappeared were stolen.
“I made the design so they could be reusable,” he said.
Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected] news.com.