Dems Fight for Attention in Crowded Race
The race for the Democratic nomination for Secretary of the State is a tightly-packed one, with six declared candidates fighting for limited money and attention. Top administrative jobs don't come open very often, so when Susan Bysiewicz decided to run for governor, a small horde of Democrats leapt at the chance to take her place. Why the massive throng? What's so great about being the Secretary of the State?
Well, very little, except that it's a high office and it's uncontroversial. If you're a Democrat in search of the governor's mansion or a spot in Congress, being Secretary of State is not a bad way to start. So this is a race that bears watching, if only because it will give us a good indication of whose star is rising in Connecticut.
Four of the six candidates have operational websites. Bob Landino's has had a "coming soon" message message for some time, and Norma Rodriguez-Reyes of New Haven has yet to put up a site. Republican candidate Richard Abbate only recently declared his candidacy, and so has no site as of yet.
So what have the others done with their sites so far? It's worth noting that these sites are still young, as the campaign hasn't really gotten underway (note: candidates listed in alphabetical order).
Blondin's site has a professional look to it, with a clear menu and not-too-intrusive graphics, but it can be a bit hard to find specific information. There is no search function as of yet, and the only position statement I was able to find was buried deep within the blog section.
However, this is the only site thus far that has a blog, which suggests that campaign blogs are starting to filter down to some of the less important races. It's good to see that Ms. Blondin has a blog going (even if it's rarely updated thus far) and that comments are enabled (although no one has posted a comment as of yet).
For a guy who has raised a ton of money, this is one lousy site. However, Flesichmann's campaign is young yet, it could improve.
There is very little useful information here (besides the lengthy biography), and the site as it stands right now is comprised of the biography, a search page, contact information, a site map and a place to contribute money. The site map and the search function suggest that this site is going to expand.
Mantilla, who offically declared her candidacy recently, just put this site up within the last couple of weeks. The loud banner header with the moving graphic and the background with the stars and the slanted words are a distraction from what is otherwise a pretty workable site.
There seems to be a lot of potential here, as suggested by the issues page, which has a few subject headings but no actual position statements yet. Also, there is no way for people to contribute to the campaign online, yet, which could be a drawback. There is also no search function. But there's a nice biography and photo gallery, and with a little work this site could be very nice indeed.
That waving flag icon is hypnotic... I just can't stop staring at it.
And if I click on it... I'm taken to the contribution page! Wow. Slick.
This is the most comprehensive site thus far, with links to actual position statements, good information about voting procedures, a very detailed biography page and a form to set up a time to actually meet the candidate in a group (Audrey Blondin will come talk to you as well, through the "house parties" idea also used by the DeStefano campaign).
There is no interactive section here yet, either, and no search function.
Note: John Nussbaum will be joining us early next week for a Q&A session.
This is obviously a campaign in its very early stages, at least in terms of web presence. For example, only one of the sites has a search function, only one is using a campaign blog, position statements are hard to find, and none of the sites are available in languages other than English. It will be very interesting to check back on these sites early next year to see how they have evolved.
Candidate Sites -- Governor