Description

The famous “Hunter Thompson For Sheriff” silk-screened poster, autographed in the white margin below in pencil by the poster artist Thomas Benton. Benton also forged Hunter Thompson’s “HST” signature in gold paint pen on the poster (supposedly with Hunter’s permission).

This poster was designed by Thompson and Benton for Thompson’s 1970 bid to become Sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado (Aspen, CO).

Measures 20″ x 25″.
(Photo taken through shrink-wrap).
Minor scuffs/handling wear on the back paint.

Overall in very nice condition.

Signed at official private autograph sessions.
Sold with a Certificate of Authenticity from The Autograph Source (Lifetime Guarantee).

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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.