The famous “Hunter S. Thompson For Sheriff” silk-screened poster, printed in 1970 for Thompson’s campaign. This isn’t a reprint – it is one of the few remaining original posters that were posted in Aspen during Hunter’s famous run for Pitkin County Sheriff.
This poster was designed by Thompson and Artist Thomas Benton for Thompson’s 1970 bid to become Sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado (Aspen, CO).
This poster has lots of character. It has remnants of the original glue used to post it during the campaign. It has thumbtack marks and and tape residue from hanging in various locations after the election.
Many years later this poster found its way back to Hunter’s residence at Owl Farm in Woody Creek Colorado. Now it can be yours!
There are several differences between this poster and the ones that we re-printed in the 1990’s. Original vintage Thompson for Sheriff campaign posters like this ones are extremely scarce and the ‘holy grail’ for any Thompson collector. Don’t miss your chance – this is only the second one we have owned in over 20 years in business.
Sold with Certificate of Authenticity from The Autograph Source (Lifetime Guarantee).
In 1970 Thompson ran for sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado [Aspen], on the “Freak Power” ticket, promoting the decriminalization of drugs (for personal use only, not trafficking, as he disapproved of profiteering), tearing up the streets and turning them into grassy pedestrian malls, banning any building so tall as to obscure the view of the mountains, and renaming Aspen “Fat City” to deter investors. Thompson, having shaved his head, referred to his opponent as “my long-haired opponent”, as the Republican candidate had a crew cut.
With polls showing him with a slight lead in a three-way race, Thompson appeared at Rolling Stone magazine headquarters in San Francisco with a six-pack of beer in hand and declared to editor Jann Wenner that he was about to be elected the next sheriff of Aspen, Colorado, and wished to write about it. Thus, Thompson’s first article in Rolling Stone was published as The Battle of Aspen with the byline “By: Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (Candidate for Sheriff).” Despite the publicity, Thompson ended up narrowly losing the election. While actually carrying the City of Aspen, he only garnered 44% of the county-wide vote in what became a two-way race as the Republican candidate for sheriff agreed to withdraw from the contest a few days prior in order to consolidate the anti-Thompson votes as long as the Democrats withdrew their candidate for county commissioner. Thompson later remarked that the Rolling Stone article mobilized his opposition far more than his supporters.
Tom Benton’s close friends included many of the politicians in the Roaring Fork Valley (Aspen) and in 1970 he gained national recognition as the artist who created the posters for Hunter Thompson’s infamous campaign for Pitkin County Sheriff. Though Thompson lost the election a new order had begun to take hold in Aspen. In the years after that defeat, Tom continued to work to get the people he wanted to see in office elected and even reached the national stage when he designed posters for Gary Hart and George McGovern in the early 70’s.