UPDATE 02/10/2020 at 10:45 a.m.: Gabriele Spuckes, Chair of the Lee County Democratic Committee, released a statement in response to Henderson's ad campaign:
"It is disappointing that at a time in our nation’s history when civility is rare and bi-partisanship almost nonexistent, that Mayor Randy Henderson of Fort Myers would engage in inappropriate, petty and childish rhetoric that is frankly insulting to the residents of this city, all of whom are his constituents, as well as the voters in the rest of the 19th district who he would presumably want to be his constituents.
If the Mayor can’t run a campaign with maturity and professionalism he should resign as Mayor of Fort Myers to avoid further embarrassing himself and the people of Fort Myers.
The Mayor owes an apology to all the residents of the 19th district for his comments and needs to reassure us all that he will abandon this low road he has embarked on and run a campaign, instead, that addresses the real needs and desires of the residents of Lee County."
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson shares his support for President Donald Trump and promises to stop who he calls radical democrats and partisan impeachment. He released the campaign ad for the 19th congressional seat Thursday morning.
He’s gotten a lot of support and backlash on social media, but democrats who’ve worked with Mayor Henderson like Lydia Sherman said she’s shocked by the ad.
“It’s beyond anything I would’ve ever imagined to come out of his mouth,” she said.
Sherman who’s run for for Fort Myers city council in the past said the mayor went to far when he demanded the key to Fort Myers back from Congresswoman Ilhan Omar after he gave it to her in 2017.
“That really stunned me, that he said he wanted the key back. It’s just so ugly,” she said.
Florida House Representative Byron Donalds who’s running for re-election said he’s not buying it.
“In political campaigns, you’re going to see a lot of people try to rebrand themselves. Calling themselves conservative,” he said.
Donalds, a conservative and said similar things in his campaign ad, but he said his voting record in the legislature backs up his words.
“Mayor Henderson or anyone else who’s running, they’re going to have to stand not just on what they’re saying in this campaign, but what they’ve done over their time in politics,” he said.
Sherman’s husband Steve Sherman said Mayor Henderson aligning himself with President Trump might be a bad move.
“He wants to go to Washington to support Donald Trump. Well, we have news for him. There’s no guarantee that Donald Trump will be there if Randy arrives,” he said.
Mayor Henderson has not responded to requests for comment.