You can’t miss them. 

Peppered across Hamilton County, nearly a dozen handmade signs stand propped along busy thoroughfares, calling on voters to put an end to a “dirty court system” by voting Basil Marceaux-arms outstretched-for Hamilton County mayor. 

An arrangement of thrift store clothes, hardwood flooring and foam sealant are topped with a cutout of Marceaux’s head, creating signage that is feasibly unlike any other found across the country this election cycle.   


“Let my citizens go free,” they read.

Marceaux, a 59-year-old Republican, figured his signs would become such a smash-hit that a few might wind up stolen. He figured right. 

“Well, there were 11, but someone stole two,” Marceaux said in an interview with “You know, I’m a superstar now, and people want the memorabilia. I put nine out but made two extra ones just in case. Every time I run, I make my own signs, to show citizens what I would do if I were to get elected.”

Marceaux, who has run multiple times for mayoral, senate and congressional seats, became an Internet sensation during his 2010 bid for governor. For his current run, he estimated he spent close to $600 and clocked 80 hours creating his signs.

Since they’ve been posted, Marceaux said he has received close to 40 phone calls in support.

“I got the idea at Home Depot,” he said. “They had used the foam stuff to make a sign, and I thought it was a good idea and something I could do. I got a great deal.”

For comparison, FastSigns Chattanooga charges around $130 for a 4-by-4-foot sign, typical for political campaigns. Organizers for Mayor Jim Coppinger’s campaign for re-election were not able to provide a figure for how much their group had spent on signs.

Although Marceaux’s signs are sure to remain popular with voters until the March 6 mayoral primary, the candidate said he wasn’t expecting to win the race. If a loss indeed does come, Marceaux said he would not rule out future campaigns.

“I have no magic tricks, so I’ll do my best,” he said. “And if I win, I win. If I don’t, the citizens lose. And I’ll try again. We have a state senate race after this. And then I’ll run for governor. As a marine, I swore to protect this country from all enemies.”

Updated @ 1:05 p.m. on 02/08/12 to correct a style error.