Ken Russell catches another viral wave on TikTok with videos targeting sea polluters

Ken Russell TikTok
Russell's following on TikTok has increased nearly tenfold since January.

In early January, Florida Politics reported on how Democratic Miami Commissioner Ken Russell was harnessing the video-based social media app TikTok to broaden his exposure and reach younger, more digitally engaged voters as he seeks federal office.

At the time, Russell had just gone viral for posting a video introducing himself and telling platform users how he believed it could impact the outcome of a federal election. Within days, his following skyrocketed to 22,000.

That number has since grown nearly tenfold.

While videos posted in subsequent months garnered him even stronger viewership, Russell’s engagement levels on the platform have exploded over the past week after he posted a pair of videos about sea pollution.

In one post that as of Wednesday has received close to 4 million views, Russell called attention to a video of people popping balloons on a boat and tossing them into the water at a marina near the city’s Coconut Grove neighborhood.

“We hold polluters accountable here,” Russell said in the video, which gained added traction after surfing legend Kelly Slater shared it with his followers.

“This is an environmental crime — not a fine; it’s arrestable. And so I’ve been working with my Police Chief, who’s also talking with the State Attorney’s Office as well as the Coast Guard to make sure we’re not polluting our bay and those who are caught are held accountable.”

Miami-Dade County police have since arrested two people on charges of willful disregard for the environment.

@kenforflorida

Thanks @KELLY SLATER🌊🏄 for blasting this. #pollution #waterquality @SurfriderFoundation

♬ original sound – maralovepets

Russell posted another video Monday, this time a compilation of posts by TikTok user jfaux09, who was later identified as Joseph Faucheaux of Louisiana. Russell’s video compiles several posts Faucheaux uploaded to the platform showing himself casually tossing beer cans into the ocean from a moving boat.

“I think we found a winner in today’s edition of ‘Stupid Games, Stupid Prizes,” Russell said. “If you can help me find him, I’d really like to give him a trophy.”

The video spread across TikTok — with some help from popular user Michael McWhorter, a South Florida-based video editor and director who goes by the name TizzyEnt — and onto several other platforms.

To date, Russell’s video has been viewed more than 11.6 million times, received 1.2 million likes and attracted 13,600 comments.

McWhorter’s video has gotten a comparatively modest 196,000 views.

@tizzyent

Well @Ken Russell had a question about Joe so I decided to help him out

♬ original sound – TizzyEnt

There’s more. Russell tracked Faucheaux down and got him to agree to an on-camera conversation in which he took Faucheaux to task for his actions. Faucheaux so far hasn’t faced any legal repercussions. Russell said he’d prioritize passing legislation to make that easier if elected to Congress.

@kenforflorida

Mom brought all the justice we needed.

♬ original sound – Ken Russell

Combating pollution isn’t a new endeavor for Russell.

In 2016, he helped to reestablish Miami’s Sea Level Rise Committee to better examine and counteract frequent flooding in the city. He’s since called for the volunteer panel to be granted additional members and a permanent place in the city’s climate resilience effort.

He’s also backed measures opposing offshore drilling and banning polystyrene foam (known more broadly as Styrofoam) at Miami parks, beaches and recreational facilities.

This year, Russell is challenging Republican U.S. Rep. María Elvira Salazar in Florida’s 27th Congressional District. But while Russell has only been in the race for just over two weeks — he switched contests this month from an initial bid for Senate — new internal polling shows him already within striking distance of the freshman Congresswoman.

Orlando-based public opinion research firm The Kitchens Group found Russell and Salazar to be separated by just 2 percentage points in the race, with 15% of likely voters polled saying they were undecided.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


2 comments

  • Nancy

    May 18, 2022 at 7:10 pm

    $16,000 or even more is very simple and easy to earns while staying and working online. start receiving paychecks every month simply by doing work online.wdf i recently received $17493 in my bank of my last month’s working. i just gave this job 2 hours maximum from my day. simple and easy home based job.

    Go here for info………… 𝐁𝐮𝐳𝐳𝐉𝐨𝐢𝐧.𝐜𝐨𝐦

  • chad Bonsack

    May 19, 2022 at 11:02 am

    Absolutely awesome Ken. Keep up the great work.

Comments are closed.


#FlaPol

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jason Delgado, Renzo Downey, Daniel Figueroa, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Kelly Hayes, Joe Henderson, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Andrew Wilson, Mike Wright, and Tristan Wood.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704




Sign up for Sunburn


Categories