Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is running a new online ad attacking Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney for reinstating the city’s indoor mask mandate after he was pictured maskless in Florida.
“The lockdown libs are back on the road for another nationwide tour,” Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign team tweeted.
Mr. Kenney, a Democrat, traveled to Florida in May 2021 and was photographed at an outdoor restaurant table maskless.
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The city’s mask mandate for indoor public places, including schools and daycares, went back into effect on Monday.
Mr. DeSantis, a Republican who is running for a second term and may be eyeing a 2024 presidential run, has repeatedly bashed Democratic lawmakers for imposing or supporting mask mandates and then traveling to Florida and shedding their masks.
He’s touted Florida’s freedom from mandates and strong tourism and economic growth that has occurred despite the pandemic.
“No Floridian will be restricted, mandated or locked down, in any possible way,” Mr. DeSantis tells a cheering crowd in the ad.
Mr. DeSantis leads by double digits the two Democrats vying for their party’s nomination, Rep. Charlie Crist and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.
The list of DeSantis-labeled “lockdown politicians” who have appeared in Florida includes Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Eric Swalwell of California.
The new mask mandate in Philadelphia was announced earlier this month by Health Commissioner Cheryl Bettigole, who cited rising cases of a new variant of COVID that so far has not resulted in an increase in hospitalizations or deaths.
A spokesperson for the mayor did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the attack ad.