Though the NY mayoral election (the first incumbent-free one in 12 years) is still more than a year away, candidates are already gearing up their social media presence. According to the Wall Street Journal, the candidates have begun setting up their Twitter campaign accounts, which are separate from their Twitter accounts as government officials of the city. The campaign representatives, however, have to take extra precautions with social media for the election because of the difficulty in managing an online presence while following election laws that prohibit using government resources for campaign work. Many of the candidates are making sure not to replicate a mistake like formal rival Rep. Anthony Weiner, who resigned after posting sexually explicit photos to Twitter.
Scott Stringer, Manhattan borough president, and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn are in a close race in Facebook “likes,” with Stringer at 6,000 and Quinn at 5,700 as of Sunday, though Quinn has the most followers on Twitter with 10,000, twice as many as her closest rivals, Stringer and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. Quinn plans to announce a contest in the coming days to help raise her Twitter followers to 15,000, and one of the new followers will get to tour City Hall with the council speaker.
Many of the candidates have shied away from Tweeting about personal issues, and have let their aides handle social media accounts. According to the Journal, De Blasio occasionally tweets as himself, and recently posted a picture of his family at his daughter’s high school graduation.