When New Bedford Politicians Pinned Their Supporters
Back in the day, if you intended to vote for Eisenhower for president, you might have worn an "I Like Ike" campaign button. Perhaps you wanted to "Make America Great Again," so you wore a Trump button in 2020, or before that, a Reagan-Bush button.
Campaign buttons or pins were a campaign staple, and while some candidates still use them, many modern-day candidates opt not to.
New Bedford City Council President Ian Abreu said "buttons were so expensive," so he uses stickers now that are "way cheaper."
"I used buttons at first, but we stopped using them because people don't want their shirts pierced anymore," he said.
He said stickers "can be taken off easily now with no damage to the shirt."
Ward 5 City Councilor Scott Lima said he never considered campaign pins.
"I would say pins are old school...and I'm not the kind of person to ask someone to wear a pin," he said. "Pins never crossed my mind."
Like most area candidates for public office, Lima relies heavily on yard signs to get out the word.
At-Large Councilor Naomi Carney has used pins in the past.
"I have handed buttons out," she said. "I have never used stickers."
Carney said she hasn't ordered new buttons since the contractor she used passed away.
Buttons, pins, and stickers are a great way for candidates to promote themselves by making their supporters sort of walking billboards. Today, online advertising that reaches far more potential voters has become more commonplace.
Some folks collect political buttons. You can find them and a lot of other campaign materials from local and national candidates online.
A John Markey for Mayor "push back button" on eBay is selling for $14.99, as are John Bullard for Mayor buttons.
Political campaigns were not the only use for buttons. Events, such as First Night New Bedford, used buttons for promotional purposes and admission to the event.
Some photos of buttons used in this piece were provided by the politicians they promote, while others were spotted at New Bedford Antiques at the Cove located at 127 West Rodney French Boulevard.
Here are several more classic New Bedford political buttons, including two for former WBSM talk host Dave "Cuzzin Dave" Williford's campaign for Mayor of New Bedford.