The progressive Florida lawyer who became known in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic for dressing up as the grim reaper and walking public beaches announced this week that he is running to be the state’s attorney general.
Daniel Uhlfelder has a track record of political publicity stunts and announced his decision to run on his Twitter account with an almost three-minute video. He wrote that Republican Governor Ron DeSantis “and his sidekicks” are being warned. Uhlfelder is seeking the Democratic nomination to go against incumbent Republican Ashley Moody.
Uhlfelder starts with him relaxing on his couch, watching TV news. He said that being an “armchair activist” really doesn’t fit him and the ad switches to a video of him walking Florida beaches wearing his grim reaper outfit. He then says, “Actually, that’s me. The guy in the costume.”
He says that his Florida parents raised him “immersed in social justice,” and he is now just an “average attorney and family man.”
His ad includes extensive clips showing Nazis as Uhlfelder describes how his great grandparents died in a Nazi concentration camp and how his parents reminded him of it while he was growing up. His video then runs clips of modern neo-Nazis protesting immediately proceeding footage of DeSantis, Moody and Matt Gaetz. He runs directly from the Nazi footage to the Republican politicians and says, “these are the faces of Florida’s leaders.”
In addition to dressing up as the grim reaper, Uhlfelder has confronted police while trespassing on a private beach arguing for public access and has also protested against displays of the Confederate flag.
When he was doing his grim reaper routine to urge people to avoid Florida beaches, he brought a lawsuit against DeSantis seeking forced closure of public beaches. His case was dismissed and the court of appeals denounced him for wasting the court’s time. The court described his decision to use the judicial system for political theater as “unprofessional and an abuse of the judicial process.”
Riding the wave of publicity he garnered from his grim reaper and litigation stunts, he raised money for Democratic candidates. He set up a political action committee to fundraise for leftist politicians.