It’s campaign season for the , and the Toms River Regional School District hopefuls are ramping up their efforts to grab voters’ attention before April 27.
The tools they are using are both old-school letters to the editor and lawn signs, to today’s social media campaigns.
Popping up seemingly out of the ground are not just spring bulbs but spring election signage.
Frank Rodgers and Karen Kenny are running mates using the traditional tool of campaign signs to get the word out, asking supporters to place the small lawn signs on their property. It’s not their only approach, though.
“We have employed the use of signs and will be mailing some material to voters in the days and weeks ahead,” Rodgers said.
Meet-and-greet events where candidates can interact with the public and answer questions directly are also a popular tool.
Candidate Maryann Bageac is hosting one such from 4 to 6 p.m. today at Capone’s on Washington Street.
Tomorrow, candidate Brian Geoghegan is hosting a meet-and-greet fundraiser at the Lamp Post Inn in Pine Beach, from 7 to 9 p.m. Geoghegan also said he attended a private meet-and-greet with residents hosted at a local doctor’s home.
Also tomorrow, candidate Alex Pavliv is hosting a meet-and-greet at 7:30 p.m. at the municipal building.
In addition, the candidates said attending local events and getting out in the community is playing a big part of their strategies to educate voters on what they are all about.
“I have spoken to the East Dover Homeowners Association and with their Fire District Volunteers,” Bageac said.
“Karen and I are meeting regularly with small groups of people throughout our community to get our message out,” Rodgers said.
“I have also made it point to get out to public events such as the recent opening day for both Toms River Little Leagues, as well as a grand opening for a friends store in Toms River,” said Geoghegan.
In addition a “Meet the Candidates Night” is planned for 6:30 p.m. tomorrow, hosted by Ocean County Citizens for Freedom.
Bageac said she approached groups that in previous years have hosted debates and candidates nights to see if there is interest in holding events this year. She said organizers told her it’s been difficult to reach all the candidates and find a time without previous commitments, but she remains hopeful.
Geoghegan said his campaign includes the use of no-cost tools, such as email marketing and Facebook pages for his candidacy.
“Since I am running a grassroots campaign without the support of any political party, I am planning to run a very frugal campaign,” Geoghegan said in an email. “Ironically, I feel that this how the Board of Education budget should be managed. Just as if it were coming from my own savings account.”
At the onset of the candidate filing deadline in February, resident Dennis Galante urged the board of education to more closely watch for unethical practices such as electioneering on school grounds and to students during school hours.
“I’d hope the board adopt a set of best practices and be more vigilant to look for these things leading up to election day,” he told the board at a recent meeting.
Election day is April 27. Voters will decide the three open board positions, which are for three-year terms.