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How Lake Ray Used Campaign Tech To Get Ahead

Political Election Case Study

Lake Ray, a state legislator, and former Jacksonville City Councilman decided early in 2016 that he would run for the 4th Congressional District seat in Florida, setting up a contest against former Sheriff John Rutherford on the 30th of August for the Republican primary nomination.

After U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw’s abrupt announcement that he would not seek re-election, Ray, a civil engineer whose time in Tallahassee was marked by a strong interest in logistics and manufacturing issues, immediately expressed interest in the seat.

Announcing his candidacy through a live feed on his facebook page, the 61-year-old defied all notions that social media was a young candidates game. As he prepared to face off against an opponent who had the capability of raising big money, Ray was counting on his long history as an elected Jacksonville official to carry the day with voters. He is the president of the First Coast Manufacturers Association and the chairman of the Duval County Republican Party.

Politics in 2016 was a different landscape, bystanders learned early on that surprises could happen and would happen. A Lake Ray victory was not out of the question and here is how he nearly stole the Republican nomination.

Positioning

Lake Ray embraced Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s controversial presidential nominee, and he had shown a flair for using some of the businessman’s fiery populist rhetoric. Teaming that with the political software Ecanvasser, Ray was putting himself at the forefront of the new wave of tech-powered campaigning.

In the weeks leading up to the primary, Ray’s social media accounts posted his past accomplishments for the city, including increasing taxpayer spending for port infrastructure, opposing excessive spending on the county courthouse and fixing the Mathews Bridge. Those are some of the same issues Ray said he would focus on if he is elected to Congress, he said. Ray had long emphasized logistics and port issues.

Ray was a City Councilman from 1999 through 2007 and was elected to the House in 2008, where he represented a district that covered Arlington and the Southside. He is a longtime Arlington resident.

Canvassing Game Strong

In the initial stages, the Team Ray Campaign were concerned with onboarding volunteers for canvassing and making sure they were able to deliver canvassing routes to these volunteers easily. Once they had established the best practice around canvassing operations they turned their attention to managing and understanding the data coming back from field operations. Ecanvasser helped them to provide training documents and materials to their team so best practice was adhered to.

Support was provided through the chat box on our website so they had access to immediate help with any issues. Any support tickets that came through out of hours were dealt with the next day. Ecanvasser also organized a tutorial with their team to ensure they were getting the best from the product. This is a standing offer with all campaigns and can be availed of periodically as the campaign changes.

Finally, Team Lake Ray used the product to inform their campaign messaging in the critical few weeks prior to election day. They were happy they were able to respond to the feedback from voters and ensure they were correctly representing their views.

Rutherford and Ray were top of the pile going into the polls come Aug. 30. The former sheriff took the Republican primary with 39% of the vote, while Ray took an impressive 21% for a first-time candidate against a field of six experienced candidates.

Rutherford went on to take the Congress seat confortably against the Democratic nominee in November, facing his greatest battle in Ray in the primaries.

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