'Democrats' signs don't mean he is one

Many of the green-and-white campaign signs for Thurston County Commission candidate Kevin O'Sullivan now have a blue band with the word "Democrats" on them.

The problem is, O'Sullivan is a Republican.

That's causing some confusion in the political world.

Supporters of O'Sullivan's opponent in the Nov. 7 general election, incumbent County Commissioner Bob Mac­leod, the real Democrat in the race, say the signs are being used to deliberately mislead the public into thinking O'Sullivan is a Democrat or that he is being endorsed by the Democratic Party.

Not true, the challenger's camp says.

O'Sullivan's campaign manager, Debbie Sullivan, said many diehard Democrats favor O'Sullivan in the race, but they don't want to have a campaign sign in their yard representing Republicans. So the signs denote Democrats for O'Sullivan.

The signs are misleading, contends John Cusick, chairman of the Thurston County Democratic Party.

"So someone driving by who didn't know anything could think Democrats are endorsing Kevin O'Sullivan. It seems deceitful to me," Cusick said. "Down on the lower right corner you have the R in a circle. But really prominent above that is the word 'Democrats.' "

Ironically, O'Sullivan is a lifelong Democrat who only switched to the GOP in the last election. His brother, Brian Sullivan, is a state Democratic representative from Mukilteo.

Many of the people working on Kevin O'Sullivan's campaign are Democrats, Debbie Sullivan said.

"They were not comfortable putting a Republican sign in their yard," she said.

The campaign started putting that message out with bumper stickers, but others wanted it on yard signs, Debbie Sullivan said.

Cusick thinks the effort by O'Sullivan's campaign shows their candidate is in trouble, he said.

"It seems to me with these signs - it's an act of desperation. If he could run a clean campaign, wouldn't he be more confident?"