According to NBC 4, Central Ohio politicians, who are on the hunt for votes, are making their way to an east side barber shop – not for a trim, but for an in-depth interview.
Barbershop owner Al Edmondson, has started a grassroots political campaign called “Earn My Vote.” He invites political candidates to his shop and then tapes interviews with them on his iPad.
“I already have more than 15,000 followers,” says Edmondson, who told Colleen Marshall the interviews teach voters more about the candidates and what they can do for Columbus businesses and neighborhoods.
NBC4 Photojournalist Charles Busby was in the barbershop this week when Edmondson interviewed political newcomer Dontavious Jarrells, who hopes to be elected State Representative for the 25th House District. Jarrells was able to talk about his time as a legislative aide and his promises to work as a mental health and addiction advocate.
Edmondson says candidates who are new to campaigning appreciate the opportunity to get their message out to thousands of voters, for free.
But, even veteran politicians are sitting down for the barber shop interviews. Former Ohio Treasurer and current Franklin County Commission candidate Kevin Boyce says it’s important to take advantage of this kind of social media opportunity.
“It’s amazing to see how quick and accessible it is, and how many people follow things on Facebook and Twitter,” he said.
Edmondson is hopeful the interviews will ultimately lead to economic growth for some of the city’s troubled neighborhoods “by electing these candidates and then holding them accountable”