'Speed candidating' gives voters chance to meet candidates face-to-face



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Posted on July 18, 2013 at 10:15 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 19 at 5:58 AM

KENT, Wash. -- The August 6 primary is approaching. One city is using a “speed dating” approach for voters to get to know their candidates.

The Kent Chamber of Commerce hosted a “Speed Candidating” event at the Kent Activity Center Thursday night. It’s a quick meeting between two parties. In this case, voter and candidate. One gets to see if they like the other and which one they like the most.

Thirteen candidates took part who are running for offices like mayor, city council, and school board. Each candidate gets eight minutes at a table of five or six voters. They answer questions, push their platform, and try to become more than a name on a piece of paper.

At the end of the eight minutes, each candidate moves to the next table.

“I like the format,” said Libby Seidel. “I like being able to talk one on one with them. I think they’re more human.“

Candidates like that the exchange of information goes both ways.

“This is a quick temperature of what the hot button issues are at this time, and from that standpoint it is valuable,” said Tim Clark, candidate for mayor.

Andrea Keikkala, Chamber executive director, said other formats they’ve had took too many meetings and too much time. She said this format wraps it all into one event and is more personal.