William Figlesthaler trades lab coat for leather in newest ad campaign
Dr. William Figlesthaler trades lab coats for leather in newest CD 19 ads.

It looks like COVID-19 messaging has been left in the dust.

Dr. William Figlesthaler paints himself more as a Hell’s angel than health professional in his newest Congressional ad.

The video kicks off with footage of President Donald Trump at the Daytona 500 shouting, “Gentlemen, start your engines.” A narrator comes in to announce “the race to support President Trump is on in Florida’s 19th Congressional District.”

Wearing a Harley Davidson skull wrap and a leather vest with the nickname “Wide Glide” stitched onto it, the Naples Republican roars down the roadway with no helmet and wife Olga on the stump.

It’s a different look than the lab coat-adorned physician who a couple months ago announced he would temporarily redirect all campaign messages to informing the public about the coronavirus pandemic.

The new road warrior image greets visitors to Figlesthaler’s campaign website, a sign the campaign is ready for its own new phase.

Without naming any of his nine Republican competitors for the open Congressional seat, Figlesthaler asserts his background as a political outsider more closely aligns him with Trump than long-time office-holders in the race.

“Dr. Fig will fight to end illegal immigration and stop the sell-out politicians from taking your guns and trampling the constitution,” a narrator declares.

A mass email to supporters uses similar language to even more pointedly dismiss opponents.

“The differences between me and my opponents could not be more obvious,” Figlesthaler writes. “Like President Trump, I understand that career politicians who sell out our rights and trample the Constitution aren’t what make America great…

“When I get to Washington, you can count on me to defend our freedoms and liberties. I will help President Trump drain the swamp and retire these career political hacks once and for all.”

The words are clearly pointed at the four Republican candidates who currently hold office— Reps. Byron Donalds, Dane Eagle and Heather Fitzenhagen and Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson. Former Minnesota Rep. Dan Severson is also running.

Figlesthaler isn’t the only political outsider. Fast food mogul Casey Askar, Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Kowal, Ave Maria University law graduate Christy McLaughlin and former New York City mayoral candidate Darren Aquino are all aiming to control that lane.

Through the first quarter of the year, Figlesthaler spent $328,114, the most of any active candidate in the field.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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