Candidate Who Used Grindr To Reach Potential Voters Reflects On Election Loss, “I’m Glad I Ran”
Fischer, a queer, vegetarian, Latino “progressive Democrat on a bicycle,” tried to run a less traditional campaign. Instead of TV ads, town halls and radio spots, he used Grindr and Tinder to reach potential voters.
“We were careful about it,” he says. “We, as millennials, know how to use [these sites] without turning off voters.”
His strategy was pretty straight forward: Find guys on Grindr, strike up conversation, see if they were registered to vote, then ask them to cast their ballots for him. He often worked for 12 hours a day, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“I definitely ran to win,” Fischer says.
Unfortunately, his efforts fell short. But not by much.
In a crowded field of more than half a dozen candidates, Fischer came in second, with 14 percent of the vote. His opponent, Heather Way, won the election with 19 percent of the vote. Afterwards, she called him to congratulate him on a campaign well run.
Looking back, Fischer says one of the most surprising things he learned from the experience was that the LGBTQ community isn’t nearly as progressive as he originally thought. Despite campaigning in “the most liberal district in Texas,” he heard many members of the gay community decry illegal immigrants, the Black Lives Matter movement and other socially progressive operations.
The other takeaway for Fischer was that one doesn’t necessarily need to be an elected official to make a difference in the world.
“You don’t have to be in elected office to be a voice for the queer community,” he says.
And for any other LGBTQ people thinking about running for office in the future, he says: “They should. It’s exhausting. It’s expensive. It’s totally worth it.”