Local candidates use new media to win votes

Reported by Claire Simms - bio|email
Posted by Kristy Ondo - email

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Less than two months from election day, many candidates are taking a new approach to campaigning.

They are adding Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to the traditional ways of spreading their messages.

"If somebody wants to know my what my background is, I can tell them, but if they really want to know, they can go and they can actually print out my resume and read it all they want," said Wilmington city council candidate Kevin O'Grady. "It really extends your reach to people."

O'Grady is using traditional signs and buttons, but he's also taking his message to the Internet with a campaign web site, a Facebook page, and even a YouTube video that explains his platform.

It's a trend seen last fall in the presidential election and one political experts say will only get bigger.

One reason the web might be popular this fall is the cost. Signing up for social media is free and can reach a very specific audience.

Wilmington mayoral candidate Paul Knight said he's not fully relying on technology to spread the word about his campaign.

"I do have a web site, and I do get a lot of people that visit the web site, but the real way to let people know who you are and let them get a feel for your personality is to be in front of them," said Knight.

That kind of face to face contact isn't going away, despite the fact that we're in a high-tech world, where even ballots have gone electronic.

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