Washington, D.C. – Today at a meeting of the House Republican Conference, Vice Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers announced the winners of the 2012 House GOP New Media Challenge:
“I’m pleased to announce Congressmen Justin Amash, Vern Buchanan, and Lou Barletta are this year’s winners. Their success, and the success of the contest, should send a strong signal to observers that the Republican Majority in the House is committed to listening, engaging, and staying connected with our constituents.”
Rep. Justin Amash, a freshman lawmaker from Michigan took first place. He commented, "Social media is revolutionizing government and making Congress more accountable. I use Facebook to explain every vote I take on the House floor, and I personally interact with my constituents online. This not only empowers people at home but also shapes me into a better Representative. It's an honor to win this year's contest, and it's a big win for the forces of liberty and transparency."
Rep. Vern Buchanan, a veteran lawmaker from Florida, took second place. “It’s an honor to be recognized by your peers for having one of the best constituent outreach programs in the entire Congress. Since its inception, the New Media Challenge has been a way for Members to challenge each other to stay ahead of the curve online. Whether it's Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, I believe in listening to the people and giving them every opportunity to voice their views.”
Rep. Lou Barletta, a freshman lawmaker from Pennsylvania, rounded out the Challenge by winning the bronze bracket. He said, “It’s incredibly useful to communicate directly and in real-time with my constituents back home. Whether it’s listening to everyday concerns, or sharing information about what we’re working on in Washington that will affect my district, new media is an important part of my communication plan. My colleagues and I recognize that, and through this Challenge, we’ve shown we’re embracing it.”
Altogether, 96 Members and Committees generated over 50,000 new Facebook likes, Twitter followers, and YouTube subscribers during the seven-week Challenge. A staff debrief will be held in the coming weeks to share best practices and innovative tactics developed during this year’s contest.
Now in its third year, the New Media Challenge is part of Vice Chair McMorris Rodgers’ leadership efforts to help equip House Republicans with innovative communications tools.