The “right-hand man” to St. Petersburg, Florida’s Mayor Rick Kriseman, a Democrat, is reported to have published a Facebook post calling for protesters and political activists to disrupt a scheduled event at which Florida’s GOP Governor, Ron DeSantis, was to appear.

Kevin King, the chief of policy and public engagement for Kriseman, used Facebook to message Susan McGrath, the former chairwoman of the Pinellas County Democrat Party, writing, “Governor apparently coming to St Pete around noon at Birchwood to cause trouble if you feel like secretly getting a group together…Could use some Wear a Mask signs.”

Governor DeSantis appeared in St. Petersburg Friday to announce that he is green-lighting Phase III of his plan to re-open the State of Florida in the aftermath of the COVID event.

Phase III includes:

  • People 65+ and those with underlying conditions can resume public interaction
  • Employees return to work
  • Non-essential travel continues
  • Government meetings in person
  • Bars and restaurants operate at full capacity
  • Gyms open to full capacity
  • State parks are open with overnights
  • Beaches remain open
  • Movie theaters, concert halls, auditoriums, bowling alleys open
  • Sporting events resume but limiting capacity should be considered
  • Theme parks return to normal operations
  • Vacation rentals resume normal operations
  • Barber shops, hair and nail salons operate at full capacity
  • Retail stores open at full capacity

King attempted to spin his activism saying, “We mobilize advocates for causes all the time. We wanted people to remind the governor it’s important to wear a mask,” he said. “It was policy-focused. We would never encourage political activity from city hall.”

Kriseman wouldn’t tell reporters if any disciplinary action would be taken against King, but acknowledged he had been “counseled” and said his behavior would be more appropriate in the future.

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