Has a sports team ever influenced a district attorney election?
Probably not ... Until yesterday.
For weeks and months – and then all day yesterday – fans of the NY Islanders used social media to encourage one another to vote for Democrat Madeline Singas for Nassau district attorney in a clear revolt against Republican Hempstead town Supervisor Kate Murray. The fans blame Murray for the downfall of the Lighthouse Project and the subsequent departure of the team to Brooklyn.
And with all of the #isles fans’ tweets, there was never a social media response from the Murray camp – which may have hurt her in the end.
But Singas recognized the power of the base, and encouraged it. And yesterday, Isles fans may not have made the crucial difference but certainly contributed to her surprisingly large margin.
Many fans voted and then headed to Brooklyn, where they watched the Islanders beat the New Jersey Devils 2-1. It’s the Isles’ first season at the Barclays Center, and yesterday marked the first time they showed their Brooklyn colors – literally – as they wore the borough's trademark black and white instead of the team’s traditional orange and blue.
The game ended, the polls closed, and Islanders fans again took to Twitter, spending loads of time urging a Singas win. When the numbers started coming in showing Singas in the lead, the cheers reserved for goals – Yes! Yes! Yes! – rang out via Twitter. One fan claimed to be crying – something usually reserved for a Stanley Cup win.
Then Singas took the stage, and thanked the fans.
Has a political candidate ever thanked a professional sports team’s fans during her acceptance speech before? Doubtful. But it happened yesterday.