6 terrible candidate websites

Straight outta 2002: Marcus Williams' campaign website for attorney general.

by Brian Clarey

1. Ernest T. Reeves (D-US Senate)
A grainy PDF introduces potential voters to Ernest T. Reeves, running for the Democratic nomination for Senate. He gets points for having a tab about his stance on the issues — a surprising number of candidates don’t — but the design is pretty basic, even for a Wix site.

2. Michael LaPaglia (R-secretary of state)
What’s black and white and red all over? LaPaglia’s website, with an emphasis on the red. It looks like the most basic of templates — created using nationbuilder.com, “software for leaders” that makes it easy to get on the mailing list, donate and share talking points, but nothing on the issues.

3. Marcus W. Williams (D-state House)
Williams’ site looks like a blog straight out of 2002 — dense with text, quotes from the 1990s in fine print on the margins, counterintuitive navigation. A quote, “Proven Leadership With Athletic Balance,” hyperlinks to PDFs of his high school yearbook pages, which document some pretty impressive accomplishments.

4. Dr. Greg Brannon (R-US Senate)
A highlight of Brannon’s NationBuilder website is footage of a television appearance with Glenn Beck in which the TV softballer asks the following non-question: “We’ve prayed for people to come and be a part of this revolution, if you will, and try to restore the Constitution. We’ve prayed for people like this and now they’re here and you’re one of them.” The candidate would have responded, but his mic was off.

5. Matt Stafford (D-Guilford County School Board)
Stafford, running an uphill campaign against incumbent Deena Hayes who does not have a dedicated website at all, resorts to using his democracy.com page to support his campaign. He’s gone into some rambling detail on the Issues page, and he last posted in December.

6. Buck Newton (R-attorney general)
You sort of expect to see a giant, dead deer on the homepage of bucknewton.com, the candidate’s NationBuilder site. But instead we see a blurry photo of the red-faced lawyer along with a letter loaded with code words and dogwhistles — “shining city on a hill,” “God-given freedoms,” “out-of-control federal government” — though nothing on the issues at all. I give him points for using proper hyphenation, though.