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Phoenix-area man builds large collection of political memorabilia

(Photo by: Ron Puechner)

Ron Puechner has always been fascinated by political campaigns and the memorabilia that goes with it.

The Gilbert resident has a collection of approximately 50,000 political items. Among those items are buttons and posters from presidential campaigns throughout history. He even has items that date back to the George Washington era.

“I have original clothing buttons and shoe buckles and so forth that have like ‘long live the president, G.W.,’” Puechner said.

Puechner has collected political items since he was eight. He has items related to Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan among many others. He also collects items that relate to Arizona politicians, including one of the state’s most famous, Barry Goldwater.

“I probably have one of the largest Barry Goldwater collections in the hobby,” Puechner said.

It includes an Indiana issued pin that features Goldwater and his wife, as well as a poster from a Goldwater campaign announcement in Prescott. When it comes to items from the 2016 election, Puechner said there are some that might hold value in the future. He said delegate buttons from the party conventions, as well as political buttons that have the date of a certain campaign event, could be worth something one day. One that might be a popular collector’s item in the future: a political button from a Bruce Springsteen-Hillary Clinton rally in Philadelphia.

“It combines pop culture [and] politics,” Puechner added. “It winds up being collected by more than even just a political collector.”

Puechner also serves as the president of American Political Items Collectors, an organization committed to the collection and preservation of political items.

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