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Some Mayoral Candidates Better Tweeters Than Others

Among the San Diego mayoral candidates, some are more social media savvy than others.

Aired 6/4/12 on KPBS News.

Among the San Diego mayoral candidates, some are more social media savvy than others.

Congressman Bob Filner, the only Democrat running for mayor, started his mayoral Twitter account @bobfilnermayor on August 21, 2011, more than two months after announcing his bid for mayor. His two Congressional Twitter accounts, @bobfilner and @congbobfilner, were started in 2009 and 2010, according to the website www.whendidyoujointwitter.com.

Among the four candidates, Filner's mayoral account has the fewest followers, about 550.

City Councilman Carl DeMaio's @carldemaio account has about 7,500 followers, the highest number of followers among the four candidates.

DeMaio is also the oldest pro of the four candidates at Twitter. He started his account Dec. 10, 2008, a week before he was sworn into his first term in City Council.

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis started her account, @bonniedumanis, on March 8, 2011, two days before announcing her bid for mayor. She now has the third most followers, about 1,500.

State Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher started @nathanfletcher on Jan. 14, 2009, shortly after beginning his first term in the state Assembly. He now has the second most followers behind DeMaio, about 4,800.

Fletcher's follower count jumped by about 100 in the two days after he left the Republican Party.

Ever since President Barack Obama's 2008 election, political experts have been saying social media is becoming more and more important to campaigns.

"By bolting together social networking applications under the banner of a movement, (the Obama campaign) created an unforeseen force to raise money, organize locally, fight smear campaigns and get out the vote that helped them topple the Clinton machine and then John McCain and the Republicans," David Carr of The New York Times wrote shortly after the November 2008 election.

In San Diego, reporters, campaign staffers and sometimes candidates themselves are engaging more and more often on Twitter.

"Some of the most interesting conversations in town are happening on Twitter," Scott Lewis, the CEO of Voice of San Diego, wrote in his "Member Report" last week. "Politicians are being asked tough questions. Media outlets, like us, are being held accountable and even forced to issue corrections. News is breaking. Reporters and citizens tweeting at public meetings and forums are making those events accessible to people who can't attend."

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