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Is Grindr the Next Campaigning Platform?

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A queer Texas Democrat is asking for your vote...on Grindr.

Huey Rey Fischer, 23, is a gay Latino running for state representative in Texas. An alum of University of Texas at Austin, Fischer is campaigning hard for the representative seat that includes UT in its district. Not only is Fischer young, but he's tapped into a new model of campaigning that's sure to spark conversation.

Fischer is using popular dating apps, Grindr and Tinder, to campaign for the coveted millennial vote. Talking to Slate, Fischer clarified what messages are being sent on the "hookup apps" and how his campaign team came up with the uncoventional idea.

The Fischer campaign team thought of the dating apps because of the potential for direct message and conversation potential:

"With Facebook and Twitter, people have to opt in--but when it comes to Grindr and Tinder, it's direct engagement, direct conversations. It's a medium that my opponents would never be able to use, anyway; it probably wouldn't be appropriate for a 45-year-old to be messaging millennials on dating apps."

There's an office cellphone that Fischer and volunteers use to message potential voters on Grindr and Tinder:

"There's a phone in the office dedicated to Tinder and Grindr outreach. We let volunteers come in and strike up messages with people on the apps, as long as they stay on message. 'Hey, how's it going, are you registered to vote?' 'Go vote in the Democratic primary for Huey Rey Fischer!'"

The profile on the dating apps is of Huey Ray Fischer and clearly states he is running for state representative:

"We don't strike up conversations. We allow other people to strike up the conversation with us. It's a profile of me, and it says clearly that I'm a candidate for state representatives, seeking votes."

The conversation is shut down if it veers toward sexual or personal territory:

"We've had people message us and say, 'hey, what are you looking for?,' which is very suggestive. Our immediate reply was, 'Your vote!' We walk a fine line. If anybody sends something unsolicited and not election-oriented, we just delete the conversation. We don't really engage beyond that point."

Read the entire interview at Slate.

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Nicholas Richard Rees