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A governmental grudge match

After 51 years of marriage, Joe and Elaine Vann have learned when to agree to disagree.

The city's mayoral election is one of those times.

Joe is a supporter of Mayor David Fischer and recently asked one of his neighbors in the Gateway area to pick up a Fischer yard sign for him. That didn't sit too well with Elaine, who happens to be supporting challenger Bill Klein in the March 25 election.

"We get along every way, except politically this time," said a laughing Elaine.

No problem. She found herself a Klein sign and plunked it down next to the Fischer sign. And just so there was no mistake about it, the Vanns added a "His" notation to the Fischer sign and "Hers" to Klein.

"The neighbors are all getting a chuckle out of it," he said. "A couple of them have yelled that they're surprised we're still talking to each other."

Dueling signs have been turning up in a few other places around the city.

Despite the yard signs, the retirees from Illinois are not passionate about either of the candidates.

"It's just the challenge of having a change," she explained of her choice. "Anybody that comes in new and different, I say give him a chance. Because Klein's a general, that doesn't impress me. But he's new."

Said Joe: "Fischer hasn't done a bad job. He's got the experience that maybe Mr. Klein doesn't have."

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