DemLabs blog

David v Goliath

In a modern day version of David vs Goliath, a rookie candidate uses high tech stones to challenge a powerful incumbent. The ending has yet to be written...

Herb Jones a retired Colonel and disabled veteran spent decades in the Infantry. He's running for office in 3rd Senate District of Virginia against Tommy Norment, a long term incumbent and Republican Senate Majority Leader.

This is the story of a rookie candidate with little money battling stiff odds. Can technology level the playing field?

Tommy Norment has faced criticism for introducing a bill to reduce the current penalties for the production of child porn.  "Republican Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment is facing re-election this November, (VA has off-year elections)... Ask anyone in Virginia what priorities the state legislature should focus on, and I challenge you to find one person who would say that the state’s child porn punishment is too harsh. Yet with Senate Bill 1560, that is exactly what  Tommy Norment tried to “fix.” The bill would have cut the maximum from 30 years down to 20, and the minimum from five to two years", reports Daily Kos.

Herb believes in stiff penalties against child pornography and this is part of his campaign for Virginia's 3rd Senate District. He used Adobe Spark, a free app and DemLabs training organized by WinVirginia to create his own campaign video on this issue.

Made with Adobe Spark

Watch the actual video along with sound here.

    • Recording the appeal
      step 1Herb records his campaign message on his phone. The script is simple and direct based on free coaching provided by Steve Edelman from Speak Real Communications. Herb transfers his recording to his laptop for editing into his campaign video.
    • Finding a cover photo
      This photo is chosen from Pixabay.  "This vibrant community of creatives, shares copyright free images and videos. All contents are released under the Pixabay License, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist - even for commercial purposes."
    • Video creation

      Herb creates his campaign video with Spark, a free app from Adobe. The video uses the mom & son photo as the lead in; text based comments; Herb's recording and a soundtrack. Learn more on using Spark here.
    • Promoting the campaign video
      Herb shares his campaign video on Facebook with a Spark-generated link. Supporters can share Herb's video by email, on Facebook and Twitter. Herb plans to embed his video on his web site using a few lines of code that Spark provides.


1. Record your campaign appeal on a phone or laptop.
2. Find free, high quality photos for your video on Pixabay .
3. Create your video with background music using Spark.
So if like David you're up against a political Goliath, try free apps in your campaign. They are very effective, just like David's well-aimed stones.
Co-Founder, DemLabs

Democracy Labs is a hub for ongoing technology and creative innovation that serves progressive groups at the national, state, and local levels. Donate here to support our work.

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DemLabs applies innovative technology and storytelling tools in service of democratic values. It lowers the barrier of funding for worthy candidates and non-profits by applying existing free/affordable solutions.