SAINT AUGUSTINE – The St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce is proud to once again host “Politics in St. Johns,” St. Johns County’s largest candidate meet and greet. This opportunity will enable St. Johns County voters to “get to know” the candidates for public office and directly ask them questions prior to the August 18 Primary and the November 3 General Election.
This year due to the crowd size restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Chamber has transitioned from the traditional in-person events held in Ponte Vedra Beach and St. Augustine to an innovative new online format. The new approach will bring the same one-on-one feel of the in-person events to an engaging online opportunity – expanding the audience participation and interaction.
“We want St. Johns County citizens to have access to all our candidates and their platforms, so they can make informed decisions for the upcoming election cycle,” said Isabelle Renault, president and CEO, St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce. “The beauty about hosting this event virtually is that residents who may not have been able to travel to the events in the past are now able to join us and interact with candidates in a safe, efficient and convenient way. We are looking forward to reaching more residents that ever before with the information they need to make informed decision to cast their vote. We especially thank the sponsors of the 2020 Politics in St. Johns: Advanced Disposal, FPL, Ameris Bank and Northrop Grumman. We do have a limited number of sponsorship slots remaining; call Andrea Knight at 904-829-5681 for more information.”
Candidates have been invited to submit a brief video about their platforms. These will be available for public viewing beginning July 27 on the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce at www.sjcchamber.com. Candidates can continue to register on-line at: https://stjohnscountyfl and submit videos through July 24. Each video will allow candidates to put a face and story to their candidacy and candidates will share contact information for voters to forward questions.
The Politics in St. Johns website will remain live on the Chamber website from July 27 to Aug. 19. Live conversations via Zoom or Facebook Live featuring candidates from significant county-wide races are being planned for the week of August 10. Audience members will be able to ask questions via a moderator.
According to Bob Porter, vice president, Public Policy, St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce, straw polls may be held this year as well. “While the results won’t necessarily reflect what will happen when the official polls open, they will provide excitement and feedback to participating candidates. The straw poll is less about who wins and more about encouraging and providing people incentive to be informed. The elected officials at every level of government make decisions that affect our lives and I am happy to see so many people taking advantage of an opportunity that will help them make an informed decision when entering the voting booth.”
At the St. Johns County Supervisor of Elections website (www.votesjc.com), residents can register to vote and review the 2020 Candidate list. The primary election is Tuesday, Aug. 18 (early voting is Aug. 6-Aug. 15) and the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 3 (early voting is Oct. 19-Oct. 31).