Ryan Petty lost his 14-year-old daughter Alaina in the 2018 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman-Douglas High School — and he’s demanding an apology for a recent ad that depicted a Republican candidate and several children as literal targets of gun violence.
The ad in question was a mailer promoting Loranne Ausley, who is running to keep her seat in the Florida State Senate (District 3) — and it showed her opponent, Republican Corey Simon, on a shooting target. Other imagery on mailers promoting Ausley showed children seated at their school desks or wearing backpacks — also superimposed over shooting targets.
The ad labeled Simon an “extremist” and claimed that his policies in support of the 2nd Amendment would lead to more gun violence and more school shootings.
“I’m asking for [Ausley] to apologize to the Parkland families,” Petty told The Daily Wire on Sunday.
He shared a tweet calling for her apology on Friday, sharing photos of the offending mailer.
“@LoranneAusley you must apologize immediately. This is wrong and you should have known better. Your constituents deserve better than this,” he said.
— Ryan Petty (@rpetty) October 7, 2022
Two days later, he noted that she still had not offered an apology for the ad. “Still waiting,” he said.
Still waiting… https://t.co/deJ7STmQuM
— Ryan Petty (@rpetty) October 9, 2022
Javon Price — who previously worked for Congressman Byron Donalds (R-FL) — responded to the ad as well, saying, “I find it disgraceful that Democrats like @Lorane Ausley think it’s okay to mail out campaign material with @csime90’s face on a target to shoot & that the media refuses [to] cover stuff like this.”
The hate Black conservatives face from the Left and the media is unreal pic.twitter.com/8mLsl5kzEm
— Javon A. Price 🇺🇸 (@JavonAPrice) October 3, 2022
Christina Pushaw, Rapid Response Director for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (who has endorsed Simon), responded as well, adding, “I agree, this is sick and appalling. WAY over the line, especially with recent incidents of political violence in our country. What’s even worse is that Tallahassee media, including @JimRosicaFL & @fineout, see nothing wrong with this … because Loranne Ausley is a Democrat?”
I agree, this is sick and appalling. WAY over the line, especially with recent incidents of political violence in our country.
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) October 3, 2022
Senate President-designate Kathleen Passidomo released a statement calling on Minority Leader Lauren Book to condemn the mailer, which was paid for by The Florida Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee — a campaign arm of Senate Democrats that is headed up by Book.
“As Senate President, Minority Leader Lauren Book and I will be called upon to set an example of respect, decorum, common decency and concern for one another for our members, in order to carry out the people’s work. That basic call for humanity shouldn’t have to wait until after the election,” Passidomo wrote. “Minority Leader Book should denounce this mailer and hold accountable those who are responsible for its disgusting content immediately. She shouldn’t tolerate this level of hate now, and she can be sure that it won’t be tolerated in the Florida Senate.”