What's the only thing Chuck Norris isn't able to do? Protect his campaign signs

Chuck Norris, a candidate for probate judge, inspects a new batch of campaign signs, which have become a popular target for thieves.
Chuck Norris, a candidate for probate judge, inspects a new batch of campaign signs, which have become a popular target for thieves.

He's not THAT Chuck Norris.

The theft and vandalism of election signs is an annual fall tradition. But the signs for the Republican candidate for probate judge in the greater Norwich area are disappearing faster than most.

The blue and white "Chuck Norris for Probate Judge" signs are apparently too much fun to resist. They are ending up on people's Facebook pages, in college dorm rooms and on photo-sharing websites. Someone even stole the 4-by-8-foot sign Norris put up on Route 12 in Lisbon across from Lisbon Landing. An empty frame remains securely attached to the tree.

The Chuck Norris running for probate judge is not the martial artist who has appeared in movies and was the star of the TV show "Walker, Texas Ranger."

"At first it started to hurt my feelings, but now I'm getting over it," said Norris, who is running against Democrat Kathy Guinan.

Norris has become an Internet phenomenon where people make up implausible feats that he has accomplished, such as "Chuck Norris can light a fire by rubbing two ice cubes together."

If you search for "Chuck Norris for Probate Judge" on Google, you get pages of entries - including a few real newspaper articles about his candidacy - with photos, slogans and jokes. One celebrity website features the headline "Norris Running for Probate Court Judge" with a photo of the actor standing in front of an American flag, his sleeveless denim shirt unbuttoned to his belted waist, a high-powered gun in each hand. You can buy the photo for your computer screen wallpaper.

A photo of one of Norris' signs is posted on DailyBooth, a photography website with the caption "There's a probate judge running for office in Norwich CT named Chuck Norris. His opponents stand no chance."

Candidate Chuck Norris, who simply wants to be a probate judge, bears no resemblance to the scruffy, bearded martial arts action hero. Norris, 45, a Norwich attorney, longtime member of the Norwich Board of Education and past chairman of the Norwich Republican Town Committee, is clean-shaven, has short hair and dresses in a suit and tie. He wore small, wire-rimmed glasses until recent laser corrective surgery.

"I was a freshman in high school when I first heard his name," Norris said. "My father's got the same name."

When his wife, Lynn, drove to New York City in a car decked out with "Chuck Norris for Probate Judge" signs and stickers, she was tailgated and cars pulled up beside her and slowed down.

When she stopped, someone asked, "Is that his next movie?"

c.bessette@theday.com

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