Judicial candidates, Facebook

October 6, 2008
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Some local candidates for judge in Indiana are turning to the Internet to spread the word about their campaigns – but they aren’t just creating election Web sites. Some have taken the leap into the social media world and created Facebook group pages.

Yes, that’s right; it’s possible a candidate for a judgeship in your county is on Facebook, a Web site traditionally used by college students to share pictures and information.

I did a search this morning for “Indiana judge” under Facebook groups and found seven attorneys or current judges who have group accounts. It appears most of these groups were created before the primary in May, and the majority of candidates lost. However, Clark Circuit Judge Abe Navarro, his opponent Dan Moore, Harrison County attorney John Evans, and Johnson County Prosecutor Lance Hamner won their respective primaries and are on the November ballot. Only those with a Facebook account can view the candidates’ group pages.

At first, I laughed when I discovered judges or judicial candidates with Facebook group pages because the typical Facebook user probably wasn’t born when these candidates graduated law school. But the more I thought about it, I realized it actually would be an interesting way to try to get the word to younger voters about a candidate. Sure, most young voters won’t think to search Facebook to find out about a candidate, but if they have a friend who knows the candidate, they may be persuaded to become a member of the candidate’s group page and then possibly tell other friends about the candidate.

Is campaigning via social networking going to be the new trend for candidates, beyond the typical political ads, campaign signs, and candidate Web pages? And, do you think you can tell who can win based on how many “friends” or “members” a candidate’s page lists?
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  • Your comments proved insightful and well-founded. The internet most certainly can be used as a medium for communicating campaign platforms and ideas. I graduated from the Vermont Law School in 2001. The internet as a research and communication tool was an integral part of our curriculum. As such, I value it as a medium for reaching out to our communities.
  • You convinced me. I signed up!

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