An Uber and Lyft driver from Colorado running for Congress in the state’s 1st Congressional District is using the ride-sharing service to campaign.
Casper Stockham, an entrepreneur and author, started driving for Uber and Lyft to make extra money. He quickly realized it is a great way to market himself, according to CNET.
He put a campaign magnet on one of the doors of his car as a conversation starter with constituents. The 1st Congressional District includes much of Denver and its suburbs.
Stockham claims to have conversed with more than 2,000 patrons about his campaign. Some of the discussions even continued well after the ride was completed, CNET reports.
“His ride was over. I stopped and pulled over and shut the meter off. We talked for another 20 minutes. By the time I was done with him, he wanted to volunteer for me and he wanted to vote for me,” Stockham described one rider, a youthful Sen. Bernie Sanders supporter.
While Stockham is running as a Republican in a heavily Democratic district, he talks about all issues facing the people of Colorado.
“For the most part we don’t talk about (Republicans and Democrats)…we talk about homelessness, veterans. We talk about issues they are concerned with,” Stockham told CNET. “At the end of the ride I hand them my campaign literature, and even though they know I’m Republican, 90 percent still say they’d vote for me.”
Eventually, Stockham started recording and broadcasting his “backseat interviews” on his YouTube channel, where he speaks with prominent Republicans within Colorado. He spoke with former President Richard Nixon speech writer and Colorado Senate President John Andrews. “Casper’s innovative, entrepreneurial approach to politics really impresses me. He’s a natural leader but also a likable ordinary guy,” Andrews explained in an email to CNET.
Stockham wants to use his diverse background to fight an uphill battle and take on his Democratic opponent, Diana DeGette. DeGette has been in office since 1997.
On Stockham’s campaign website, his biography page starts with a “campaign prayer,” and lists his mission as honoring God, protecting America and its legal citizens, and fighting for liberty around the world. The bio also states that, “he and his wife, Cheryl are Radio Show Hosts and Christian Marriage Coaches.”
Stockham’s list of credentials are various and extensive. He touts “over 30 years of management level direct marketing experience,” and “10 years of mortgage and finance experience.” He also speaks “conversational French” and is the former president of American Conservatives of Color.
How do the ride-sharing companies that pay him feel about Stockham doubling up on their services?
Uber Senior Communications Associate Michael Amodeo told CNET that Stockham is an independent contractor operating his own proprietary vehicle, so he is free to put campaign magnets on the car he drives. (RELATED: Judge Denying Uber’s $100 Million Law Suit Settlement Exemplifies Struggle With Drivers)
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