For months now, Robert Cappucci has been going above and beyond to get some light on his long-shot quest to be mayor.
He said he submitted 5,400 signatures — 2,400 more than required — and spent more than $30,000 of his own money on his campaign. He has been distributing over 200,000 cards on his political views and spent more than $10,000 to get billboards erected in five neighborhoods.
Then, one early morning, the former police officer decided to drive to the billboard sites to make sure everything was all right. That’s when he noticed that one of the billboards had been destroyed.
“I was shocked to see it flapping in the wind,’’ he said of the remnants of the sign. “It cost me $1,850’’ to have that sign put up.
The billboard was located atop a three-story retail and residential building at the corner of Perkins and Centre streets in Jamaica Plain. He said he did not call police or report the alleged vandalism. But he did call a representative at the billboard company, Clear Channel Outdoor, to report that the billboard was taken down. A call to a company representative was not immediately returned.
Cappucci, an East Boston resident who served as a former elected School Committee member, said he had no idea who might have vandalized the sign.
“Obviously, someone has a problem with my candidacy. I don’t know. I didn’t troubleshoot,’’ he said.
The billboard was erected on Sept. 6, and Cappucci said he noticed the ripped sign 12:03 a.m. on Sept. 9.
He said he decided that it would be a waste of money to stick with that billboard location, so he decided to erect it in a new spot, near Roslindale Village.
The other billboards are located in East Boston, Roslindale, South Boston, and Brighton.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh is being challenged by Cappucci; City Councilor Tito Jackson; and Joseph Wiley, a customer service representative. Candidates will compete in Tuesday’s preliminary election, and the top two vote recipients will proceed to the Nov. 7 municipal elections.Meghan E. Irons can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @meghanirons.