By receiving 43 percent of the vote in the District 7 race this past week, Augusta Commission candidate Sean Frantom has caught the attention of a lot of folks in the Garden City.
While Frantom still has an uphill battle facing his opponent, appointed Augusta Commissioner Louis “Hap” Harris, in a runoff for the District 7 seat on April 14, many constituents were impressed with the fact that Frantom did so well last Tuesday.
Even on a “holiday” like St. Patrick’s Day, when many voters wouldn’t even remember to head to the polls, the 36-year-old Frantom, who is the development director at Ronald McDonald House, received 866 votes.
While that doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s not bad considering only 1,981 people in District 7 even bothered showing up to vote. (Shame on you, District 7.)
The fact that Frantom did better than some people expected has people talking. And when people talk, they also like to gossip.
Fortunately, for Frantom the gossip is very mild.
Some of the “older voters” in District 7 don’t seem to get the fact that Frantom is an active and proud member of the “social media generation.”
But this week, these particular older voters, who appear to be supporting local insurance agent Hap Harris, seem to want to tease Frantom for his frequent social networking.
(Now, it should be pointed out that none of these individuals have direct connections to the Harris campaign.)
A handful of folks have sent messages around town asking: “Do you want this guy to be your next commissioner?”
And attached to the message are two YouTube videos.
Again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with these videos.
One is an old video from back in 2011 when Frantom and dancer Joni Horton were performing for Dancing Stars of Augusta to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. (Here is the link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfXUgkk3fgs).
Now, The Insider will admit, it’s a funny video.
Maybe not the most flattering video for Frantom, but he’s just being silly for a charity. So, give the man a break. Some folks have even jokingly pointed out that Frantom is dancing to the song, “Big Spender” from the musical Sweet Charity.
Guys, he didn’t pick the song. It doesn’t reflect his political views. It’s a song he was dancing to for a charity. End of story.
The second video is celebrating Frantom’s engagement and upcoming wedding in May. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2roIRBPiCA).
Now, thousands and thousands of couples each year throughout the country create engagement videos celebrating their love and their future vows to one another.
It’s not that unusual, but, apparently, for the Old Augusta crowd, it’s a bit much.
The video features Frantom and his fiancé in cute poses in front of Saint Paul’s Church in downtown Augusta.
He is holding up a sign with the charity he works for, Ronald McDonald House, and she is holding up a sign for SafeHomes of Augusta.
They are both the development directors at the two charities.
It’s a match made in heaven. And all the while, there is John Legend’s “All of Me” song playing in the background.
Now, people who are used to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all of the other social media outlets will not be at all phased by either of these videos.
The fact is, people under the age of 40 commonly have videos about some aspect of their lives somewhere on the internet.
Good, bad or otherwise.
Frantom is a very public person. He like sharing with people. Most politicians do.
Just be thankful he isn’t trying to “share” himself like former Augusta Commissioner Donnie Smith did with his employees at the Georgia Highway Patrol.
In the end, Frantom should be complimented by the attention these videos have gotten this week.
If that’s all his critics can dig up on him, he’s doing well.
And the fact that they’re looking for dirt proves they’re worried about the results of the upcoming April 14 election.