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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Ohio Gubernatorial Candidate Rich Cordray's Social Media Campaign is Crushing It

Posted By on Tue, Aug 21, 2018 at 12:38 PM

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Political campaigns are notoriously nasty and downright cruel. Often times, rather than focusing on what positive changes a candidate can bring to their elected office, they'll instead focus on trashing their competitor.

Sure, campaign announcement ads are typically positive and filled with soft filter lighting and college-pamphlet levels of diversity represented, but for the most part, political ads are vicious reminders of how ugly our political system can be during election season.

And then there's Rich Cordray, the Democratic Ohio gubernatorial candidate with the purest and most innocent social media campaign in history. It first began in text form, with Cordray posting 'Thursday Trivia' on his Twitter account, typically about Ohio or things Ohio has made famous.

Apparently the trivia tweets were too impersonal, as Cordray dug back to his roots as a 5-time winner of Jeopardy! and began posting a series of videos of Cordray offering answers to Ohio trivia on the streets, solving Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?-esque questions like "What's the state vegetable?" and "What's the state flower?"

Cordray pops into frame to provide an answer to the question, and offers the same level of enthusiasm as your dad trying to show off the newest dance craze. The ads then cut to a clip of him being announced as the winner of Jeopardy! in 1987, complete with a bashful lip bite that is sure to spawn a wave of Cordray fans determined to make young Rich Cordray an unintentional sex symbol.

The ads were created to plug the website, a fanpage recounting his five original appearances on Jeopardy!, including four full episodes, highlights of Cordray's personality, and links to his issues page on his regular campaign website.

With the exception of YouTube, these "Rich Knows Ohio" videos have been spread across Facebook and Twitter, with some of the videos only available on certain platforms. It's a smart move, because now people that use both social media platforms aren't going to be inundated with the same video over and over again.

The crown jewel of this charming and dorky social media campaign, however, is Cordray's take on the popular Jimmy Kimmel Live! segement, 'Rich Cordray Reads Mean Tweets.'

In the video, Cordray reads a disparaging public tweets about himself and then offers commentary on the critiques. The first in the series shows him responding to a user that wishes they lived in Ohio so they could have the privilege of voting against him. Cordray's response is so, so pure.

It can be speculated that these videos are meant to win over millennial voters who are more likely to be swayed by this hilarious and easily sharable material. But even so, it's such a breath of fresh air to see a candidate completely owning his awkwardly geeky charm and leaning hard into it rather than wasting time bashing his opponent.

To be fair, his opponent Mike DeWine hasn't been doing much on the grounds of bashing Cordray, instead focusing on the ideals Republicans eat up like family values, government transparency and manufacturing industry jobs.

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