The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

'Something fun' in Roosevelt sheriff campaign

Candidate offers cash prize for social media shares

 


PORTALES — It’s the season of big billboards, TV, radio and newspaper ads, not to mention lawn signs, bumper stickers and other electoral ephemera. For some candidates, it’s a cumbersome reality of the process, and for others it’s an opportunity to think outside the box.

Seeking his second term as Roosevelt County Sheriff, Malin Parker announced this month a promotion on his personal social media account: “Whoever posts a pic with a Parker for Sheriff Shirt Or Sign and gets the most shares on facebook will win $250.00 Cash awarded on May 22nd.”

The prize comes from Parker’s personal funds, he told The News on Wednesday, and the viral-marketing approach is one he said he also utilized four years ago in his previous bid for the office.

Parker said he wanted to use the ubiquity of social media to promote his candidacy with something different, something fun.

“I feel like people see a lot of political stuff as they drive around town, that kind of thing, and I know it gets kind of tiresome and annoying to the general public, and the last thing I want to do is annoy my constituents. So I came up with the idea to come up with something fun,” he said. “There’s so much social media interaction out there, that’s becoming more and more the way to get news out. And for now, it’s a much cheaper way (to advertise).”

He said “lots of people participated” when he held the contest in 2014, but this year has seen a slightly more tame turnout.

“I think that Facebook, social media has slowed down,” he said. “I don’t know. I am by no means a computer guru, but I’m told that Facebook has changed their algorithms, people aren’t connecting (the same way).”

Parker’s challenger, fellow Republican Darrell Chenault, told The News he had purchased signs and radio spots but wasn’t too eager to engage in more involved advertising.

“I’m not getting into that, that’s not who I am. I’d seen one (t-shirt) that had my face on it, and I had nothing to do with that at all,” he said. “That’s not what Roosevelt County is about. We’re a farming and ranching community.”

Chenault still acknowledged the place for advertising during a campaign, but said he was more interested in voting day itself.

“The sheriff race is not political,” he said. “I’m already thinking that everybody’s tired of hearing about Malin Parker and Darrell Chenault both. I’m ready for the election. It’s not about who can put up the most signs, it’s about who the people can connect with and relate with better, and we’re going to have to let those chips fall where they go.”

Roosevelt County Clerk DeAun Searl said Parker's promotion is simply "paying for advertising,” and does not violate any electioneering laws.

 

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