Democrat Patrick Register using Tinder in hopes of attracting voters, not dates

- Usually you join Tinder to get a date. Democrat Patrick Register joined to talk politics. 

"I said here's a forum that reaches women of every type, every background, every class, every age and I want their ideas just like I want everyone else's," Register explained. "So it's very efficient, very easy, it lets me have a one-on-one conversation with people and it's turned out better than I ever could have imagined."

His occupation? U.S. House of Representatives candidate. 

"Age 37. My name is Patrick and I'm running for US House. I would like to know your issues, your ideas, things that keep you up at night. Things that make you happy. That you've always wanted to tell a representative to focus on."

He's racking up matches - more than 100 so far - and Patrick talks to all of them. 

"I've learned about adoption issues. I've talked to a nurse whom I now know watches 30 patients on a shift who should only be watching 15," he said. "These are things I know because of Tinder. And then you get things like, the bike lanes are horrible."

It's the kind of conversations he believes should be happening between conservatives and democrats. 

"When I ask people for their opinions or issues, I don't ask them their party affiliation. I don't even ask them where they live because people have good ideas everywhere," Register said. 

If you're thinking, 'who is this guy?' Well, that's because he jumped into the race to represent District 12 last minute. He has to beat Alma Adams, a long-time and popular incumbent in the May 8th primary. 

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"People say they want that normal regular guy to run. I'm that guy. I'm Patrick Register. I deliver food. I went right here to CPCC. This is my school. I went right here to this building. If I can do it, anyone can. I'm not even wearing a suit," Register said. 

Sometimes voters aren't sure what to make of him. 

"What do you do? I deliver food. And they just kind of laugh. You know, brush me off. And… if you deliver food - which is a perfectly good job - I enjoy it. You can run for the United States House of Representatives. It doesn't matter what anyone else says," he said. 

"This is a huge thing for the community, someone who doesn't have a lot of benefits, someone who's part of the working class who can communicate with working voters. Who that's the majority of Charlotte and of District 12," Thomas Bruefach with CPCC said. 

Register is willing to do whatever it takes to get elected, like sleep in his van just to make sure he was always in District 12. His old apartment was on the border. 

"When it was 23 degrees outside, I slept in the van with five blankets, a sleeping bag, four shirts on, two pairs of pants, three pairs of socks and my shoes on, because I was going to be in District 12," he explained. 

Here's the thing - Register is getting no help from the Democratic party. This is a safe seat. Why rock the boat? Just ask his supporters. 

"We need this younger, passionate kind of energy coming into politics especially with this new wave of younger people getting involved. And so it's great to meet someone like Patrick who wants to challenge the Democratic party as a Democrat," Sina Shahnizadeh, a sophomore at CPCC said. 

His message is reaching millennials in a big way. In a post Parkland world these Johnson C. Smith University students are filling out his NRA candidate questionnaire. 

"We watch the news every day and we hear about stuff happening in our communities and the world but they don't know how we feel," Freshman Nia Curman said. 

"That's important. You always want to feel like you being heard. That someone cares," Senior Johnnie Thomas said. 

"Especially a white man showing interest in our community? That is definitely extremely important and I support him and I hope it opens doors to more people like him to come in and hear what we have to say," Junior Anaiah Mitchell said. 

"I'm the one here at CPCC talking to students. I'm the one that was at March for Our Lives. I'm the one delivering food and talking to people on the porch. These are people that were not being reached. Or at least they didn't feel it. Because these other people were not there at these events," Register explained. 

Register is faicng an uphill battle to get elected. He knows it - and he doesn't care. 

"Don't listen to anybody who says, no you'll never make it. You need to shave. You don't look the part. Just do it. What's the worst that's gonna happen? You lose. You know what, and I would have lost anyway if I wasn't running," he said. 
 

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