Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson has come under public scrutiny recently for a campaign ad he has appearing on social media. In particular, there are those who were concerned taxpayer money could have been used to make the ad, but Henderson and his campaign confirm they have not.
Henderson is in the process of running for the U.S. House of Representatives as the successor of retiring Congressman Francis Rooney.
We spoke to Mayor Henderson Monday, who is responding to critics of his recent campaign ad and is defending his message.
The campaign ad is currently available on social media but not on TV.
“I’ve had to show respect to all kinds of people as mayor,” Henderson told WINK News.
In the campaign ad, Henderson says he is done playing nice.
Henderson said he vows to take back the key to the city he gave to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
“I didn’t know her politics then, nor that she was an anti-Semitic socialist,” Henderson said.
The Lee County Democratic party labels the spot “inappropriate, petty and childish.”
So we asked the mayor, who’s currently in Tallahassee, to respond.
“I want you to know that the liberal left exploded on my remarks as if I had no right to express my opinion,” Henderson said.
Florida statute says, when the mayor is “off the clock,” he is allowed to campaign. “On the clock” he is allowed to express his opinions.
“This is a common ploy that’s used to intimidate, and it’s not right,” Henderson said.
Citizens for a better Fort Myers Government said, “Randy Henderson should not be using the mayor’s office in his political commercials to advance his self-serving agenda.”
To that, Henderson’s campaign said he didn’t use his office. The Henderson campaign told us the ad will eventually run on television.