Rebekah Jones, a Democrat running against Matt Gaetz in the midterm elections in November, has harshly slammed the Republican congressman from Florida after a picture of her autistic 12-year-old was put online and shared on his Facebook page to make fun of her campaign. Jones, a former data scientist for the Florida Department of Health, created a TikTok video on the “upsetting” Facebook photo that Gaetz placed on his page on September 10.
The contested Facebook post had two photographs side by side, one of a little toddler alone with his head on a desk at a booth and the other of throngs of people at a Gaetz campaign event. While posting the pictures to Facebook, the Republican said, “Gaetz vs Jones campaign activities.” The Emerald Coast Holistic Health Expo was held at Fort Walton Beach over the weekend. According to Jones’ TikTok video, she took her autistic son with her.
In addition, Jones said that Gaetz had someone photograph her son, a 12-year-old autistic boy, alone at the booth and post the images online to ridicule him. Jones was terminated from her position as a data scientist in Florida due to allegations that she refused to alter COVID data to downplay the severity of the state’s outbreak. In response to claims that she had inappropriately accessed a department computer system, she later had her house investigated. Jones mentions the home invasion in her video while also bringing up a criminal probe into Gaetz.
If you haven’t learned anything since [Florida Governor Ron] DeSantis stormed my home under threat of force, Jones remarked, “you don’t misbehave with my kids.” “So why don’t you come on down here and join me on the debate stage, and we’ll see who’s the better candidate for Florida’s first district, and you can stop creeping on my children and having pictures taken off of them and then reposting them online when they’re sitting alone in public, Jones continued.
Gaetz is under investigation by the Justice Department on claims that he paid a 17-year-old girl to travel with him, including across state lines, and had a sexual relationship with her. Gaetz, who has been accused of no crimes, refutes all of the allegations. The Daily Beast stated in August that the DoJ will decide whether or not to file charges against Gaetz after the midterm elections in November to avoid the appearance of swaying voters’ decisions. Jones is scheduled to go on trial in January over claims that she inappropriately entered the computer network of the Florida Department of Health. For a response, Gaetz has been approached.