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Candidate's name makes him target of sign thefts

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Ryan Fattman (WBZ-TV)

As Ryan Fattman works into the night by himself at his small campaign headquarters in Blackstone, it’s pretty clear that his slender frame does not match his pudgy name.

“It’s a sense of disappointment,” says the 26-year-old Republican. “You show up and there’s this skinny kid with the name Fattman.”

But the State Rep hopeful in the 18th Worcester District does have a beef when it comes to his campaign signs — vanishing from roadsides in Bellingham, Sutton, Millville, Blackstone and Uxbridge.

“My opponent’s a nice person and I’m sure she’s above that,” he says.

Instead, Fattman suspects youngsters are swiping his signs — for their amusement value. “Probably a lot of it has to do with my name,” he offers. “I call it my secret weapon.”

Whoever it is, they’ve taken little signs and big ones — more than 100 in all.

Someone even set fire to a campaign sign that was staked on a Blackstone lawn, prompting the candidate to quip that the vandal was simply looking for a new way to burn fat.

Thing is, some thieves have actually fessed up to it – anonymously. “It’s kind of funny,” says Fattman. “I got a message on Facebook from a girl who said ‘I took one of your signs because I loved it.'”

Fattman says she actually told him the location so he could replace it.

Local police have been alerted that the signs are apparently being targeted as goofy souvenirs. But Fattman is rolling with the punches.

“Growing up with the last name Fattman prepares you very well for politics,” he chuckles.

As you have probably figured out by now, the young politician who proudly jokes that he’s got a B.S. in government — is handy with the one-liners. “They say it takes a fat man to find the pork in the state budget,” he says, shifting in campaign mode.

The young Republican is trying to unseat incumbent Democrat Jennifer Callahan, and says if his name hurts — or helps — so be it.

“Everybody says to me ‘Did you ever consider changing your name?’ And I say ‘No! I love my last name! It’s wonderful!'”

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