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News Channel 3 speaks with Lisa Middleton and Christy Holstege on adapting campaign styles to accommodate COVID-19 protocols

Palm Springs City Hall

Hitting the campaign trail looks very different this year in the midst of a pandemic.

News Channel 3 met with two candidates running for a seat on the Palm Springs city council to see how they’re doing it differently this year.

“Campaigning this year is completely different,” Palm Springs Mayor Pro Tem, Christy Holstege told News Channel 3.

Lisa Middleton and Christy Holstege are both running for a seat on the Palm Springs city council and this year they’re having to change their campaign styles to comply with COVID-19 protocols.

“For someone like myself who grew up in the era where campaigning was all about touching people, getting out ... and shaking hands and things like that but always embracing individuals and speaking to them face to face,” Middleton told News Channel 3.

Now things look very different.

“Much of campaigning is moving virtually now,” Middleton said.

They each need 80 “wet” ballot signatures. This means they can’t be electronic so instead of going door to door and meeting people in person, they’re finding unique ways to get the job done.

Middleton held a drive-by signing event where people had the option of coming inside or staying in their car to sign. Holstege is planning something similar.

“I have the added benefit of running a campaign while I’m pregnant so I’m six months pregnant as well so we want to be thoughtful of everyone’s health so we’re doing a sore feet meet and greet later this month so we’re going to have people drive through and do signatures that way,” Holstege said.

Now, there’s a lot more to think about when it comes to campaigning safely. At Middleton's event, each person came in with a mask, practiced social distancing, and got their own pen so they wouldn’t have to be continuously sanitized.

Middleton and Holstege both think there are some benefits that may come from virtual campaigning.

“A lot of good can come out of this new world of campaigning because it’s a lot more accessible so people who work or have kids and people who have disabilities who may not be able to go to a party for an event they can participate on Zoom,” Holstege said.

They’re getting the word out one way or another using social media, mail and making phone calls.

“In past years in Palm Springs, you couldn’t do much campaigning in August because people were traveling and now if you’re connected to the internet we can be connected to you," Middleton said.

Elections will take place this November 2020.

For more information on Christy Holstege visit:

For more information on Lisa Middleton visit:

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Caitlin Thropay

Caitlin Thropay is the Weekend Morning Anchor and Lifestyle Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3, The Desert’s News Leader. Learn more about Caitlin here.


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