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Politicians turn to a familiar Facebook

Shahinfar, however, said the Internet does deserve credibility for "[reaching] younger voters in a way that they like to be reached."

"As you know, they're a group that doesn't always engage in politics," he said. "This is one of the things we can do to engage younger voters."

Tom Nardacci, spokesman for Phil Steck, said Facebook and other social networking sites are a way for the candidates to reach Generation Y voters, a group of people between the ages of 18 and 28.

Nardacci said one of the reasons for the page is that this generation is "most likely not watching the 6 o'clock news," and that Steck wanted to reach voters on the Internet.

In addition to his main political page, Steck has a student support page run by student voters.

Paul Tonko's Facebook page is run by younger campaign staffers, according to his spokesman, Beau Duffy, who said that Tonko has, on occasion, maintained the page on his own. Duffy said the page helps campaigners reach voters in "a structured way."

Looking at the affiliations, or "friends," on each candidate's page, something is missing from each and every one: the other candidates.

All of the candidates' spokespeople, as well as Vasquez and Shahinfar, said that while they may not currently be friends on Facebook with the other candidates, they would welcome the idea.""

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