Supreme Court Justice G. Barry Anderson may be making history, 140-characters at a time.
The justice, first appointed to the high court by Gov. Tim Pawlenty in 2004, is using promoted tweets to advance his campaign to stay on the court. He is among the first prominent Minnesota politicians to use promotion, Twitter's version of online advertising, in his campaign.
For targeted Twitter users, promoted tweets appear in their timelines and are clearly marked as advertising. National campaigns and businesses have, for months, used the advertising system to get their messages to users -- and generate revenue for Twitter.
The promotion, "allows Justice Anderson to quickly and easily update voters about the Minnesota Supreme Court, his background, and campaign for reelection. Recent promoted tweets have included information about e-filing, the fact that four Governors support Barry Anderson for re-election: Carlson, Pawlenty, Quie & Anderson, and that in 2006, he received 1,457,164 votes - more than anyone running for statewide office of any type that year," said Grant Anderson, the justice's son and digital director. He said the campaign plans to continue using Twitter advertising through Election Day.
Grant Anderson said the campaign has also used Facebook for campaign outreach, as do many campaigns. Justice Anderson's Facebook page has more than 1,600 fans and one of his posts on Facebook had more than 130 "likes" by Monday morning.
The incumbent justice this year may face more of a re-election challenge than usual for high court posts. Dean Barkley, a prominent Independence Party member appointed by former Gov. Jesse Ventura to the U.S. Senate, is running against him. In 2008, Barkley got 15 percent of the vote. Barkley has 60 Twitter followers and 84 Facebook fans to Anderson's 334 followers and 1,600 fans.
No incumbent justice has lost a post through election in 66 years.