As Hurricane Ian bears down on the state, one gubernatorial campaign is nearly going dark on television.
Democrat Charlie Crist announced plans Monday to pull ads from markets likely to be impacted by the storm, a move that will impact much of the state.
“With Hurricane Ian poised to cause significant damage to the Gulf Coast of Florida and Tampa Bay, the Crist Campaign has decided to suspend running political ads in Tampa, Fort Myers, Orlando, and Jacksonville media markets,” asserted communications director Samantha Ramirez.
South Florida will continue to see the spots, however, as Hurricane Ian appears likely to miss it.
“Given the storm’s trajectory on the west coast, our advertisements will continue in Miami and West Palm Beach areas,” Ramirez noted.
Crist has one ad running statewide currently. The 30-second “Fed Up” has had more than 50 million impressions running statewide.
Two versions of the spot are running with identical content, but one airing is paid for by the Crist campaign directly and the other is part of a Florida Democratic Party 3 pack buy with Reps. Anna V. Eskamani and Carlos G. Smith. The Orlando/Daytona Beach/Melbourne market has seen the most broadcast television spend on both versions of the ad.
The ad takes DeSantis to task for culture war posturing amid a larger affordability crisis, with Crist accusing the Governor of “bullying school children” and for “passing an abortion ban with no exception for rape or incest.”
The Florida Democratic Party has suspended its buys in these Ian-affected markets along with the Crist campaign.
Less clear as of Monday evening: Whether or when the Ron DeSantis campaign and the Republican Party of Florida might pause its own ad buys in storm-impacted markets.
We have reached out to the DeSantis campaign for reaction and comment, and will add when we have it.