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What All Politicians Could Learn From Florida Congressional Candidate Going Viral On TikTok

Photo: TikTok / Facebook
Ken Russell

A Florida congressional candidate who is going viral on TikTok could teach his fellow politicians a thing or two about appealing to the masses.

Ken Russell is quickly becoming the video-sharing app's favorite politician with his quippy yet informative videos.

And while many would turn their nose up at a member of our government devoting time to the social media platform, Russell is proving that sometimes you have to meet voters where they are in order to get your message across.

Who is KenForFlorida on TikTok?

Ken Russell is a United States politician that is running for Florida's 27th District in the US Congress against Maria Salazar.

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Russell is running as a Democrat and leans to the left when it comes to his stances on various issues.

   

   

He is a father of three kids and four pets, and is also an impressive campaigner with a large following on TikTok as he tries to appeal to the youth.

Russell currently serves as a city commissioner of Miami — where a lot of Florida’s 27th district resides — and previously used his TikTok as a platform to discuss various issues and happenings in the city.

“Over the last six years, I’ve used my position to help tackle other murky problems,” he writes on his website. “Now I am running for Congress to take on Florida’s biggest problems.”

He announced that he would be running for congress on May 1st, and since then has posted a lot about his stances on various issues like climate change, women’s reproductive rights, gun reform, and more.

Russell’s first two viral TikToks (4.7 million views and 23.4 million views) were about holding polluters accountable for their actions after they posted videos online of them committing the crime.

   

   

Ever since then, Russell has frequently broken a million views on his TikToks about LGBT+ equality or a project he once set up where people could voluntarily turn in their guns in order to send them to Ukraine for help in the war against Russia.

His videos are often laced with humor — hence their virality — but what isn't a joke is how important it is to appeal to a generation of people who feel neglected by their politicians.

That is exactly what Russell is doing. 

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One might think it is fickle to spread their political stances on an app known for viral dance trends but if you're looking to capture the attention of the people who may not be so politically engaged, their on TikTok.

   

   

It seems like the father of three is very social media savvy, and in the comments of one of his videos, he jokes with another person who commented “Whoever taught you how to TikTok needs a raise.”

“His allowance is already too high,” Russell quipped, joking that his teen son is the one who taught him how to use the social media platform.

Now that Russell has solidified his stances on social issues and made it clear on what he wants to change, he has been opting for following TikTok trends in a unique way in order to push his campaign even further and reach the youth in the area.

One of his more recent viral TikToks is a stitch (when you combine your TikTok with someone else’s) of a woman who performs a dance move only to switch to him getting closer to the phone on the floor and telling people to go out and make sure they’re registered to vote.

   

   

“Hey, are you registered to vote?” reads the caption in the video. “There’s an election Aug 23.”

As the deadline approaches for voter registration, Russell hopes to spread the message enough in order to flip Florida’s 27th district to Democrats.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Since graduating from Rutgers University, he spends most of his free time gaming or playing a fictional sport. Keep up with his rants about current events on his Twitter.

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