It’s a true symbol that the race for mayor is in full swing, and it appeared in Mattapan this week.
It’s not politicians out shaking hands or kissing adorable babies.
It’s a white, red, and black “Tito for Mayor” campaign sign affixed to a chain-link fence on River Street.
A campaign just isn’t a campaign without a blast of political signs, screaming a candidate’s name and demanding attention. Usually, the signs appear at the end of summer. But in Councilor Tito Jackson’s case, he needs an early start in his quixotic campaign to unseat Mayor Martin J. Walsh this fall.
Jackson volunteers have been erecting signs this week in Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, and Hyde Park, campaign manager TaShonda Vincent-Lee said.
Over the next three weeks, she said, they will also be targeting the lawns, front porches, and businesses of supporters in communities snaking from East Boston to the councilor’s district in Roxbury. On the list are Charlestown, Dorchester, the South End, South Boston, and Allston-Brighton. Soon all 23 neighborhoods will be dotted with signs, Vincent-Lee said.
Vincent-Lee said the campaign decided to do a “soft” introduction early in the race in highly trafficked areas, after a recent Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll showed that more than half of the respondents did not know Jackson or had formed an opinion of him. (The poll also showed Walsh with a 31-point lead over Jackson.)
“If it’s about name recognition, then we want people to see the name wherever they go,’’ Vincent-Lee said. That way, she added, when the councilor returns to a particular community to introduce himself and make a pitch, residents would have at least seen the name.
In Dorchester, the mayor’s sign plan is also taking shape. The Walsh campaign said it has been getting volunteers revved up and asking supporters to sign up to reserve Walsh signs, which would be erected later in the summer, campaign spokeswoman Gabrielle Farrell said.
“Mayor Walsh has an active base of supporters who are excited to get involved in his campaign,’’ she said. “We want to make sure everyone has a chance to own a piece of this campaign.”Meghan E. Irons can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @meghanirons.