Susan Evans, a Wake County school board member and Democrat running for N.C. Senate, has some specific types of people in mind for her upcoming campaign photo shoot.
Evans emailed out a request for “extras” this week that included “at least 3 teachers (or people pretending to be teachers) wearing T-shirts for UNC, NCSU, and Duke.” The email says the photos will be used in campaign mailers “based on the concepts my mail consultants have for their pieces.”
Evans is trying to unseat Republican Sen. Tamara Barringer in a district that includes Cary, Apex, Holly Springs and Fuquay-Varina. Her campaign manager, Dustin Ingalls, says the staged photos are a common practice in campaigns – the photos that appear to show candidates talking with average people typically feature campaign volunteers.
“Photo shoots are staged, recruited events, and you have to get supporters to carve out time to appear in these,” Ingalls said.
Evans’ campaign photos won’t feature pretend teachers because three teachers have volunteered to participate, Ingalls said. The invitation included the “pretending to be teachers” line because as a school board member, Evans didn’t want to push teachers to get involved.
The invitation also sought “a police officer or two, preferably in uniform and with cruiser” as well as a pastor, construction workers and two senior couples. Evans’ campaign was also specific about seeking backdrops for the photos, including “a nice neighborhood in the district, preferably with craftsman-style homes” and “a modern/contemporary office building with futuristic-looking architecture.”
Ingalls said he wasn’t sure why the consultants wanted particular styles of architecture.
“The visuals are very important,” he said.