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FILE - Nancy Potter and John Bailey say they wanted to keep the race for North Logan mayor a clean, friendly one. That's why both are baffled that someone would steal about 50 of Potter's campaign signs overnight.

NORTH LOGAN — In the race for North Logan's next mayor, neither candidate really sees their opponent as an adversary.

"We're good friends and respect each other," John Bailey said, "and (we) have worked together on the City Council for eight years."

"We've tried really hard to make sure this was not a negative campaign," added fellow mayoral candidate Nancy Potter. "We didn't want anything like that."

That's why both were perplexed this week to learn that someone took about 50 of Potter's signs — valued at $1,000 total — sometime overnight. The last of the campaign signs went up around 10 p.m. Monday but were gone by the time Potter's husband, Rep. Val Potter, R-North Logan, left for work 6 a.m. Tuesday.

"He came home and said, 'I can't believe this. Almost all of your signs are gone,'" Nancy Potter said. "It was heartbreaking, really heartbreaking."

North Park Police Chief Kim Hawkes said officers found nine large and 13 small signs Tuesday in a dumpster at Elk Ridge Park, 1190 E. 2500 North. The rest of the signs are still missing.

"There was a large piece of cardboard that was laid over the top of them," Hawkes said. "It appeared to be so that they would be covered up."

It's not unusual for a few campaign signs to disappear, he said, but not this many for only one candidate.

"This is unusual. In fact, it's a little disheartening that this would happen in our community," Hawkes said. "This is fairly targeted to one particular candidate, which concerns us."

Detectives will be checking with homeowners who had signs in their yards to see if any of them have surveillance cameras, he said. The person who took the signs could face class B misdemeanor theft charges for each one taken.

Bailey said he's baffled by the thefts.

"I was shocked. I was surprised. I was dismayed that somebody would do that," he said. "It's hard enough to get good people to stand up and run for office, and when something like that happens, it doesn't give them any additional incentive."

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Until Potter can get signs back in place, Bailey said he intends to keep the playing field even.

"I hated to see that happen to her and thought: 'What can I do?'" he said. "I offered to take down my signs until she could figure out what she was going to do."

Bailey said Potter declined the offer, but he removed a majority of his signs anyway. Potter said she hopes to have signs back up over the weekend.

"I can't think that there would be anyone that I've upset that much that would do something that hurtful," she said.