10567572_10152599680998259_1674026815_nDid friend-of-The-Rant and North Carolina State Representative Mike Stone decide to go with the more formal “Michael” to win undecided voters in his district for the 2014 fall election, or did he become Michael to simply save a buck (or 300 of them)?

Election signs in the window of the Lee County Republican Headquarters on Steele Street in downtown Sanford currently ask voters to vote for “Michael Stone” for N.C. House, and even include the small slogan, “I Like Mike.” At least since his days on the Sanford City Council, Stone has always gone by “Mike.” So why change your name two years after a successful run for state office as Mike?

A close look at Stone’s campaign contributions list reveals an in-kind donation from a Michael A. Stone — an attorney from Laurinburg — on June 25 for $300 worth of political signs. Michael A. Stone has been in the news very recently — this week in fact — for being appointed as a district court judge by Gov. Pat McCrory despite having been “reprimanded for professional misconduct” by the North Carolina State Bar in the past. Coincidentally, Michael A. Stone filed to run for N.C. House in the 2002. According to public records, the Committee to Elect Michael A. Stone dissolved in 2009.

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If that’s the case, if Sanford’s Mike Stone is in fact using another man’s unused political signs, those signs could be about 10-12 years old (which would explain the faded red, if you compare it to the Rabin sign in the same window).

All of this could be speculation, of course. Perhaps Mike Stone does think “Michael” makes him more electable. Perhaps he really does want voters to “like Mike.”

But if these are hand-me-down signs, then what does that make Mike Stone? Economically conservative? A true environmentalist who’ll take on another man’s slogan to save a tree? A cheapskate?

Good luck, Michael.