Candidates get a little creative to get attention from voters

To be heard over the election noise, some candidates get a little — wacky

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In the final days before Saturday's primary election, candidates are trying to get a little creative to get attention from voters.

On posts on their social media sites, congressional candidate Ed Case dives into the surf with his regular clothes and campaign shirt. State Rep. Beth Fukumoto, also vying for the congressional seat vacated by U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, shares a song on her playlist as an election countdown.

Former legislator Will Espero, running for lieutenant governor, plants himself with medical marijuana.

And Ernie Martin, also seeking the congressional seat, touts his "baldly progressive views" and devotion to his dogs.

Hawaii News Now political analyst Colin Moore says the tactics could be effective.

"Politics is serious business, but it is partly entertainment and I do think we shouldn't shy away from that," he said.

He added people vote partly based on emotion so harmless humor is helpful.

"Particularly if you are known as a serious person like Ed Case and Ernie Martin, for example. That really softens their image I think. It's a smart move," he said.

Hawaii Pacific University assistant political science Professor Ngoc Phan said social media is inexpensive and can target specific people. With turnout in Hawaii low, candidates hope to spur voter action with the cool factor, she said.

"They want to get attention so people turn out to vote and they want to stay relevant," she said.

But some voters weren't sold on the moves.

"I'm interested in what the candidates stand for and what they are doing," said voter Tori Suarez.

Others say they like the social media hype and think it may help with younger voters.

"It seems like they are trying to get the young people involved and peak their interest," said voter Alex Nakamoto.

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