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Don Cheadle shreds Ron DeSantis in Jacksonville radio, digital buy

Acclaimed actor Don Cheadle will be heard on Jacksonville radio in the next 24 hours, clowning Republican gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis for various racialist controversies.

The 60-second spot from American Bridge spotlights various lowlights of the Republican campaign, including DeSantis refusing to return donations from someone who called President Barack Obama a “Muslim N—–,” and using the phrase “monkey this up” in reference to what Democrat Andrew Gillum could do to the state economy.

The ad closes with a quote from Gillum: “I’m not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist. I’m simply saying the racists believe he’s a racist.”

DeSantis has struggled when confronted with these issues.

Regarding “monkey this up,” DeSantis called the furor over the phrase a “nothing burger” on Fox News.

“People are going to demagogue what you say,” DeSantis contended, adding that “the voters know this is a nothingburger … I’m not going to be derailed by these controversies.”

The campaign has devolved, often, into expressions of racist puerility, such as a risible robocall from an out of state group early in the campaign.

Cheadle’s radio spot and digital ad buy comes at a time when Democrats have done better in Duval County than any election in recent memory, carrying a 13,000 ballot edge into Election Day.

Democrats have cast 45.5 percent of votes, Republicans 40.2 percent.

There is a certain irony in Cheadle being deployed this way, as a star of The Avengers movies.

DeSantis has made hay of Gillum accepting a ticket to Hamilton from an FBI agent. In Jacksonvill last week, he said Gillum “had a thousand dollar ticket given to him to go to this play. It’s not like going to see The Avengers on a Saturday afternoon.”

On the last day of the campaign, a star of The Avengers seemed to offer a special receipt for DeSantis, a candidate who despite being just 40 years old, has seen his opponent endorsed by a pantheon of pop culture icons.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades, with bylines in national and local publications alike on subjects ranging from pop music to national and global politics. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014, and has held a column in Jacksonville, Florida's Folio Weekly for two decades. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." Gancarski is a frequent presence on Jacksonville television and radio, including fill-in slots on WJCT-FM's award-winning talk show "First Coast Connect." He can be reached at

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