23-Year-Old Uses Dating Apps to Engage Millennials
But in the case of one Texas candidate, the story is quite different.
Huey Rey Fischer, a 23-year-old self-described queer Latino running for the Texas Legislature, is using dating apps like Grindr and Tinder to personally engage voters, asking whether they're registered and seeking their support in chat conversations.
“We are going beyond the traditional campaign strategies," Fischer said in a release Monday, as early voting continued in Texas' March 1 primary. "Tinder and Grindr help us directly connect with other millennials in a fun way. The electorate is changing and so is the game of politics.”
Fischer’s campaign manager, Allison G. Heinrich, added: "Tinder and Grindr users have welcomed our outreach. They are committing to vote for Huey because they see a candidate who can actually relate to them.”
Although ads for political candidates have appeared before on Grindr, Fischer may be the first to use the app to interact with potential voters.
Fischer's campaign sent screen grabs of his conversations with Grindr and Tinder users, who were initially caught off guard when he responded to their messages by asking for their vote, but eventually pledged to support him.
One of seven Democrats seeking Austin's House District 49 seat, Fischer has made his LGBT status a central part of his campaign, proudly billing himself as "the queer son of a formerly undocumented immigrant."
It's an unusual strategy, especially for Texas, but it could help set Fischer apart from the crowded field in one of the state's most liberal districts.
While some out candidates shy away from discussing their LGBT status in the media, Fischer sees it as an issue in the race.
"I am the LGBTQ son of a formerly undocumented mom from Mexico and a Jewish, liberal dad from Brooklyn," his campaign site states. "Republicans have advanced a hateful agenda against my family and thousands of other Texas’ families that they intend to continue in 2016. ... As Democrats, we need to stop playing defense. It is time to push back with a positive and progressive agenda that benefits all Texas families."
Fischer, a University of Texas grad who's spent three legislative sessions at the Capitol working for Democratic lawmakers, is the youngest member of the State Democratic Executive Committee. He is endorsed by both the Washington, D.C.-based Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and Stonewall Democrats of Austin.
Texas currently has two openly LGBT state legislators, Reps. Mary Gonzalez (D-El Paso) and Celia Israel (D-Austin), who both happen to be Hispanic.
Fischer recently discussed his campaign in a video for the LGBT-themed "I'm From Driftwood" project. Watch it below.
Image, top: Screenshot via I’m From Driftwood/YouTube
Embedded images via Huey Rey Fischer campaign