Rebekah Jones, a critic of Governor Ron DeSantis’ COVID-19 response that claimed the governor told her to alter coronavirus data, took to Instagram to announce her candidacy on Monday hours after being suspended from Twitter for violating the site’s "rules against platform manipulation and spam."
"Didn't want to announce it this way, but since DeSantis is now taking credit for me getting suspended for sharing an article that proves he’s a sociopathic liar it looks like I have to say it this way," Jones wrote through a screenshot reported by reporter Forrest Saunders of WPTV, the NBC affiliate in West Palm Beach.
"I’m running for Matt Gaetz’s seat next year," she continued. "No more sex traffickers in congress!"
When asked by Fox News for further comment, Jones claimed to have turned her "own grandfather into the FBI for child sex trafficking" in 2019 in the Phillippines and said she hoped Floridians would support her run against Gaetz.
"I hope the amazing people of Florida's panhandle help me now remove Gaetz - alleged sex trafficker of teenage girls - from office," Jones said. "No one wants to vote for a pervert."
Gaetz’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
DeSantis' spokesperson Christina Pushaw blasted Jones in a Tuesday statement, saying the former Florida health employee was not being censored by Twitter with her suspension and that she got the ban hammer "for spamming and platform manipulation, which includes clear cut TOS violations like buying followers and using multiple accounts."
"Jones announced on Instagram last night that she is planning to run for Matt Gaetz’s congressional seat. She isn’t a Florida resident anymore, so she wouldn’t be able to do that unless she moves back from Maryland (where she had indicated, last month, she was going to primary Rep. [David] Trone in MD-6 as evidenced by this now-defunct campaign website," Pushaw said, linking to an archived campaign site for Jones.
Jones’ announcement came after the former Florida state employee was accused by former Florida Division of Emergency Management head Jared Moskowitz of "running a disinformation campaign" against the state’s COVID-19 response.
Moskowitz described in a POLITICO interview published Friday how he befriended Jones to discourage her from spreading falsities about the agency he was heading at the time, adopting a "keep your enemies closer" strategy.
"With a platform of 400,000 Twitter followers, her reputation for bullying people on social media and her running a disinformation campaign that the national media echoed, she was more dangerous as an enemy than a friend," Moskowitz told Politico.
The former Florida lawmaker also said the plan worked like "keeping a fish on the hook."