The St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce will again host Politics in St. Johns, St. Johns County’s largest candidate meet-and-greet.
This event will enable St. Johns County voters to get to know the candidates for public office and directly ask them questions prior to the Aug. 18 primary and the Nov. 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 a 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 of the 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.”
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 website at www.sjcchamber.com. Candidates can continue to register online at 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 site 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 Aug. 10. Audience members will be able to ask questions via a moderator.
According to Bob Porter, vice president of public policy for the 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,” Porter said. “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.”
St. Johns County residents can register to vote and review the 2020 candidate list at the St. Johns County Supervisor of Elections website at www.votesjc.com.
There are also a limited number of sponsorship slots remaining for the Politics in St. Johns event. Call Andrea Knight at (904) 829-5681 for more information.