Coming from the campaign-sign-rich South Side, this reporter was a little startled by the paucity of mayoral lawn signs on a prime stretch of real estate for advertising on lower Penn Avenue N.

Intrigued, I strayed from my interview location to make a broader survey of North Side real estate, logging almost five miles on Penn, Lowry and Fremont avenues.

Two conclusions: 1) The mayor's race is overshadowed in this area by the intense four-way contest for the Fifth Ward seat on the City Council, for which many more signs had sprouted;  2) Dan Cohen's campaign far outhustled the opposition in getting lawn signs posted.

Keeping firmly in mind the old saw that lawn signs don't vote, Cohen nevertheless had as many lawn signs as all of his opponents combined in the stretch driven. We saw no signs for North Sider Don Samuels, the area's incumbent council member who wants to be mayor, one apiece for fellow North Sider Jackie Cherryhomes, Stephanie Woodruff, Mark Andrew and Bob Fine, and two for Betsy Hodges.

Cohen gives the credit to Troy Wilson, who heads sign placement, but also said he's heard that his downtown casino proposal plays well on the North Side.  

Wilson said the campaign's North Side success comes partly because the crews are largely comprised of vounteers who are black, and like him, have contacts in the community who are black. Those doorknockers have less success placing signs int he mostly white southwest corner of the city, Wilson said. He reported that the campaign had 16 staffers and volunteers out placing signs this week.