PROFILES OF SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATES
A small-budget success
TV host Boonyord Sooktinthai, one of the dark horses in the Senate race, may not only be the youngest of all senators but also the one running on the smallest budget.
Boonyord Sooktinthai attends an anti-Thaksin rally at Sanam Luang last month.
"I only spent about Bt100,000 on my campaign. I didn't even print a poster. My expenses were 150,000 copies of my introduction cards and travelling costs while visiting various places in Bangkok," said Boonyord, who finished in 18th place - the final winning spot - in the capital.
His low-key campaign explains why not many voters saw his face among all the candidate posters mushrooming along the streets.
"I stuck to the rules. First they said no cut-outs on any tree or power pole and I just followed the rule," he said.
His strategy was aimed at offering himself as a choice among his professional circle. "First I toured all the TV stations I've worked at including Channel 5, 7, 9 and iTV. I still have lots of friends there," he said.
He believes he received many votes from relatives and close friends. He also sent 4,000 postcards to the alumni of Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Communication Arts, where he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in mass communications.
He also visited corporate offices to introduce himself. "Lots of them are in the same age bracket and I was hopeful they would consider me," he said.
Boonyord also came into the limelight when he was yanked from a news talk show on Channel 3 after he participated in an anti-Thaksin rally as a news anchor for ASTV, where he works part-time.
The television host is new to politics but says he believes every professional should take part in politics to make for more diversity. As a TV journalist, Boonyord thinks it won't be much different being a good senator.
"As a journalist, you try to investigate and get the answers, so you can respond to the viewers' curiosity. As a senator, you can try to make the best of your role to answer to the voters."
The freshman senator said he would continue working as a TV host. "I may follow Khun Damrong [Puttan, a former senator] to do programmes that don't involve politics."
When asked if he foresaw any disadvantages, he said: "Possibly. Some senators may consider me the press and may not feel so comfortable with it."