Shelby TownshipAugust 7, 2012
Election day campaigning dissolves into confrontation
By Brad D. Bates
C & G Staff Writer
Six current Shelby board members earn Republican nominations
Last-minute campaigning at Crissman Elementary in Shelby Township had local candidates and residents seeing red during the primary election Aug. 7.
The location for voting precincts 23 and 24 at 53550 Wolf Drive was the scene of an altercation between a resident allegedly painting campaign signs with red paint and Shelby Township Trustee Lisa Manzella and Jean Leman, the wife of township supervisor candidate Bob Leman.
“As I was walking up, his back was to me, and he was painting one of our signs,” Jean Leman said of seeing the man defacing an official Bob Leman for Township Supervisor sign with red paint.
“I came around and grabbed the sign. He said, ‘Hey, that’s my sign,’ and I said, ‘No, it’s mine.’”
Jean Leman said that the altercation was more of the same in what has been a contentious battle for the Republican nomination for township supervisor in the Nov. 6 general election.
“I totally expected something like this,” Jean Leman said. “It’s just been awful.”
Leman’s opponent, Township Supervisor Richard Stathakis, said that the resident has no affiliation with his campaign and called the incident at Crissman “absurd.”
Manzella said she came to the aid of Jean Leman as she attempted to retrieve the sign, which was one of several from various candidates the man had in his possession.
“I saw Lisa coming up and yelled at Lisa to call the police,” Jean Leman said.
Witnesses said police detained the man, but at press time officials said there were no arrests in relation to the incident.
“Of course it’s never been this bad of an election day,” said Manzella, who has been a township trustee since 2004, of the events at Crissman. “But (campaigning has) never been this bad.”
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