‘Remove Ron’ movement: Grim reaper lawyer launches political committee to unseat Gov. DeSantis in 2022

FL attorney Daniel Uhlfelder has become a familiar figure on Florida beaches, wearing a Grim Reaper suit and carrying a black sickle to remind residents they're risking death from COVID-19. Credit: Daniel Uhlfelder.

As Gov. Ron DeSantis sets his sights on a gubernatorial reelection bid in 2022, an attorney who’s been critical of the governor has launched a “Remove Ron” political committee to raise funds and unseat DeSantis.

Daniel Uhlfelder, known as the ‘grim reaper’ lawyer because of his attempts to close Florida beaches during the COVID-19 pandemic, is behind the new political committee that alleges failures by DeSantis to curb the virus and other concerns.

The group released a short video on Wednesday to encourage residents to join the “Remove Ron” movement, saying “DeSantis failed Florida” and it’s “time to remove Ron.”

On its website, the committee alleges a “record of failure,” including more than 26,000 resident COVID deaths, Florida’s troubled unemployment system, “blind loyalty” to former President Donald Trump, who has been impeached for the second time and “a notable disparity between vaccine access for white communities compared to communities of color.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis at vaccine-related news conference in Key Largo, Jan. 22, 2021. Credit. Screenshot, Governor’s Facebook page.

As previously reported by the Florida Phoenix, DeSantis said in a Fox News interview in January that he’s confident about becoming “the governor nominee in 2022.”

“We look forward to running that race,” DeSantis said at the time.

In a phone interview with the Phoenix, Uhlfelder said, “I spent a part of last year warning how dangerous the governor is.”

Uhlfelder added that after receiving an “overwhelming response” to past public awareness campaigns against DeSantis, he hopes to raise money for the new campaign to “end his (DeSantis) political career.”

Rumors have spread about DeSantis possibly running for president in the future, Ulhfelder said. “He’s got to be stopped,” he said. “After my campaign last year, it’s time to do this.”

Pushing for beach closures, Uhlfelder had stormed crowded Florida beaches in the Panhandle wearing a black grim reaper suit and carrying a black sickle. He’s also led other campaigns against DeSantis, such as placing a billboard on a truck that read: “Killing Florida With His Stupidity,” Ron DeathSantis.

In a 50-second video, the political committee points to a large death toll in the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a vaccine distribution plan by the DeSantis administration that has drawn criticism.

“He sat back while 26,000 Floridians died from COVID,” the narrator said. “A vaccine scheme designed to reward political donors.”

“Cozying up to rightwing extremists.  This is life and death.  Join the Grim Reaper and thousands across the country who are ready to say goodbye to Ron DeSantis.”

Meanwhile, voters across the nation are calling for Republican lawmakers who were involved in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol to be held accountable, according to a press release from the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. At least five people died.

Trump faces a Senate trial starting next week, accused of inciting violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Jessica Post said in a written statement:

“Americans are demanding accountability for Republican lawmakers who were involved in last month’s insurrection. But GOP leaders have defended and protected their insurrectionists and conspiracy theorists at every turn. We stand in solidarity with the voters who believe there should be consequences for lawmakers involved in a violent attempted coup.”