With Hurricane Ian threatening major damage to Florida’s Gulf Coast, Democratic nominee for governor Charlie Crist is suspending his political ads in the Tampa, Fort Myers, Orlando and Jacksonville media markets, his campaign announced Monday afternoon.
Still, Crist campaign spokeswoman Samantha Ramirez said Crist’s ads will continue running in the Miami and West Palm Beach areas.
It’s an example of how Florida politics are expected to temporarily freeze during the potential natural disaster, as the state turns all its attention to weathering what is forecast to be a major storm. Despite all the resources campaigns have spent trying to highlight their top issues, a little more than one month before Election Day, Hurricane Ian will be the top — and likely only — concern on voters’ minds for a time.
“The last thing you want to see when you’re worried about your roof being blown off is a negative political ad,” said Ashley Walker, a veteran Democratic political consultant in South Florida, who Monday morning predicted a broad pause in political communications.
“For one, people aren’t paying attention to it,” she said. “And two, it’s also being respectful of where voters are and what they’re thinking about.”
Neither a DeSantis campaign spokeswoman nor the Republican Party of Florida immediately returned voicemails asking about their plans for ads during the storm.
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2022 Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Guide
IT'S STORM SEASON: Get ready and stay informed at tampabay.com/hurricane.
RISING THREAT: Tampa Bay will flood. Here's how to get ready.
DOUBLE-CHECK: Checklists for building all kinds of hurricane kits
PHONE IT IN: Use your smartphone to protect your data, documents and photos.
SELF-CARE: Protect your mental health during a hurricane.
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Rising Threat: A special report on flood risk and climate change
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