Of the 2,792 illegally posted campaign signs pulled down by the city's Department of Sanitation during the run-up to yesterday's primary election, more than 45% tout one candidate: Milton Tingling, a state Supreme Court judge running in the Manhattan Surrogate's Court race.
The city has pulled down 1,290 signs from Mr. Tingling's campaign between August 1 and September 8, according to its most recent figures, compiled at the request of The New York Sun. Each sign violation comes with a $75 fine, which means his campaign is facing a payout of nearly $100,000.
A City Council member who represents parts of Washington Heights, Miguel Martinez, had the second-highest number of signs pulled down, with 554 collected by the city. The city collected 492 illegal signs from the campaign of Nora Anderson, a lawyer in the Manhattan Surrogate's Court race.
A consultant for Mr. Tingling's campaign, Kevin Wardally, said the campaign's first-place finish in the illegal poster tally was a sign that it was doing a good job promoting the candidate and reminding voters that there was a primary yesterday.
"You cannot not do it, if every campaign does," he said. "We weren't the first campaign to put them up and we won't be the last."
The last-place finishers on the illegal sign list are Daniel Squadron and Senator Martin Connor, competitors in a hard-fought state Senate race in a district that stretches from Manhattan into Brooklyn.
During a recent debate between the candidates, the issue surfaced when Mr. Connor noted that he had seen his opponent out campaigning on a Saturday surrounded by posters fixed to poles and the nearby subway station.
"You won't see me standing under posters. Volunteers may put some posters up, but I'm not going to be standing there, smiling with posters all over the subway entrance and whatever," he said. "It's not acceptable to plaster your posters all over public property in violation of New York City law."
Mr. Connor's campaign manager, Michael Barfield, was incredulous when told that Mr. Squadron's campaign would be fined for only six signs.
"Six? Did you say that number — six? That is probably one of the funniest things I've heard today," he said. Mr. Barfield said that on a walk down one block in the Lower East Side yesterday he had spotted at least 25 signs promoting Mr. Squadron. He said he thought that the low number of signs removed by the city was a sign that local residents were pulling them down themselves.
A spokesman for Mr. Squadron's campaign declined to comment yesterday.