As I mentioned in my recent Rostra blog on the mayor’s race, the three Republican candidates gotta spring from the gates to grab support and money. They need to do that by distinguishing themselves as to who they are in the race, which they can define not only by what they do on the trail but who supports them.
So, let’s review what they’re telling us on their websites and what those sites say about the candidates, shall we.
Straight off the starting line, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis teed up her candidacy as the establishment candidate. On her very simple patriotic-themed website, you see her proudly displaying her endorsements from current Mayor Jerry Sanders, City Councilman Kevin Faulconer and County Supervisor Ron Roberts. As expected, her platform leans heavily on her background as a three-term district attorney and Superior Court judge touting her years of being tough on crime.
She displays the same professionally shot picture of herself on each page, in the exact same spot in the exact same size. (Website by numbers?) At the bottom of the page, there’s links to accounts for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr and YouTube. The one question mark: MySpace. How 2001.
She also displays her upcoming campaign kick-off on June 28th hosted by Mayor Sanders, which includes a lengthy host committee sporting the likes of Roberts, Faulconer, Sheriff Bill Gore, retired Sheriff Bill Kolender, Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox, Solana Beach Councilman Dave Roberts, and other honorables including Greg Smith, Barbara Warden and Casey Gwinn. Also worth noting are Gore’s chief of staff Marla Marshall, businessman and community leader Richard Ledford, Thornton Winery owners John and Sally Thornton, and Scripps Health CEO Chris Van Gorder. She also has fundraising receptions set for June 21 and June 22.
Not too shabby.
Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher’s recently snagged fellow state lawmaker, Senator Joel Anderson’s endorsement. Compared to Dumanis, his pretty if subdued website employs a very interactive quality with a Facebook widget, links to news, a blog, a photo slideshow linking to pages and a Twitter crawl at the top. It’s very multi-media heavy with pictures, both professionally shot and candid, and videos, including one nifty regular feature of “Nathan’s Supporter of the Day.”
His message shows him as an active family man, former Marine and statesman who authored Chelsea’s Law, his most successful legislation. Recent stories show him dipping a toe into city hot-button issues, including the budget and pension woes.
His listed endorsements include former Escondido city councilman Dick Daniels, San Diego County Fire Chiefs Association President Augie Ghio, Temecula Murrieta Mayor Randon Lane, former San Diego Unified School board member Mitz Lee, outgoing San Diego Economic Development Council President Julie Meier-Wright, former Log Cabin Republican President William Rodriguez-Kennedy, and Wells Fargo Vice President Tom Wornham.
All his upcoming events are street fairs and road races as part of the Team Fletcher Racing Team. Those are very nice for shaking hands and kissing babies, but it doesn’t tell me if he’s raising money.
Over to Councilman Carl DeMaio’s website and right off, you see he’s stuck with the same dark blue and bright yellow look from his city race. Why reinvent the wheel if it rolls? Like Fletcher’s site, there’s scrolling professional and candid pictures, a Facebook widget, blog, multi-media and information on his top themes showing him as the reformer candidate.
His latest news tells me he’s indeed, as it states, hit the ground running with 25 fundraisers in 23 days.
I’m not gonna lie, that’s impressive.
While I don’t know based on Fletcher’s website, it seems DeMaio intends to set himself up as the community candidate and fundraiser. Juxtaposed against Dumanis’ high-society kick-off, his events are decidedly grassroots, low-key and very personal from barbecues and picnics to coffees and luncheons.
One irritation: DeMaio doesn’t have his endorsement list up yet.
Something that’s notable about Fletcher and DeMaio compared to Dumanis: coalitions. Some general consultants shun this heavy-lifting-required tactic. I believe in not only the power of them working to the candidate’s advantage via dedicated true-believer word-of-mouth, but nothing takes the place of personal relationships.
Here’s the difference between their strategies: DeMaio uses not only coalitions, but also neighborhood leaders.
Now, I don’t claim to know every town council member or neighborhood activist in the city, but DeMaio’s got some punch on his list from Mira Mesa’s Ted Brengel and Tierrasanta’s Scott Hasson to San Carlos’ John Pilch and Rancho Bernardo’s Valerie Brown. I know all those community leaders from my public office days and they’re darn hard workers.
Such a combination of youthful strategic outreach, even against high-power endorsements could give Dumanis some headaches as these three barnstormers hit the fundraising trail.
Parting thoughts: Fletcher – a little hint on the fundraising front? DeMaio – endorsement list, por favor. And Dumanis – maybe post two pictures or re-think MySpace? Maybe both.
– Follow me @erica_holloway.