Photo via Luis Miguel/Instagram
Luis Miguel with Michael Flynn.
A Republican candidate for the House from St. Augustine is spending the final days of the Primary campaign suspended from Twitter after advocating violence against the federal government.
Republican Luis Miguel, running against incumbent Rep. Bobby Payne of Palatka in the redrawn House District 20, was suspended from Twitter after a tweet advocating that Floridians should be able to shoot federal agents on sight.
“Under my plan, all Floridians will be able to shoot FBI, IRS, ATF, and all other federal troops on sight,” Miguel tweeted. “Let freedom ring.”
Miguel told Florida Politics Friday that the suspension, which is “permanent” per a message he got on his Twitter app, “doesn’t affect (him) at all.” He stands by the proposal, which he says is justified because the IRS has been “weaponized by dissident forces.”
Miguel is still active on Instagram, where the post advocating shooting federal agents is still displayed, amid a host of other hateful graphics mourning the loss of confederate statues (“southern memories,” he called them), advocating “complete enforcement” of the Stop Woke Act, and other such sops to the so-called populist right.
“They won’t take our AR-15s,” he vows on one post.
He is also still on Facebook. The same messaging recurs there.
Payne rejected Miguel’s comments meanwhile.
“The FBI is law enforcement,” the legislator noted, and regardless of how people felt about any enforcement action, including the controversial seizure of documents from Donald Trump‘s Mar-a-Lago, law enforcement should be respected.
Noting that he’d never met the “anti-establishment” Miguel, he said that candidates like this often are driven to wild statements to get the attention given the lack of a viable resume, and their primary function is to “divide the party” in Primaries.
Miguel and Payne are in an open Primary in the new HD 20, a district where Republicans dominate registration, but Democrats and no-party voters can vote in this election.
Miguel raised just over $4,000 as a candidate, meaning social media was key to his messaging. Payne raised nearly $140,000 in hard money and has not needed to spend it against his challenger. He had more than $110,000 on hand as of Aug. 5.
Payne was first elected in 2016, and if re-elected this will be his final term in Tallahassee.
This article was first published at Florida Politics.