Matt Gaetz Rival Slams Florida Rep for Mocking Her 12-Year-Old Autistic Son

Rebekah Jones, a Democrat who will face off against Matt Gaetz in November's midterms, has heavily criticized the GOP Florida congressman after a picture of her autistic 12-year-old online was posted onto his Facebook page to mock her campaign.

Jones, a former Florida Department of Health data scientist, posted a video on TikTok about the "disturbing" Facebook photo which was uploaded onto Gaetz's Facebook on September 10.

The Facebook post in question was two photos side by side, one showing dozens of people at a campaign event for Gaetz, alongside one of a young child alone with his head on the desk at a booth.

"Gaetz vs Jones campaign events," the Republican wrote, while sharing the images onto Facebook.

 Matt Gaetz and Rebekah Jones, Midterms
Rep. Matt Gaetz and Rebekah Jones on the campaign trail in Pensacola in September 2022. She has criticized him for allegedly mocking her autistic son. Getty/rebekahjones4congress/Instagram

In the TikTok video, Jones states that her child is autistic and that she brought him along to the Emerald Coast Holistic Health Expo, which was held at Fort Walton Beach over the weekend.

"And Matt Gaetz apparently had someone take pictures of my 12-year-old autistic son while he was at the booth, by himself and posted it, mocking him on Facebook," Jones said.

Jones was fired from her role as a data scientist in Florida over claims she refused to manipulate COVID data to make the state's outbreak seem less severe. She later had her home searched amid allegations that she improperly accessed a department computer system.

In her video, Jones makes reference to the raid at her home, while also bringing up a criminal investigation into Gaetz.

"If you haven't learned anything from when [Florida Governor Ron] DeSantis raided my house at gunpoint, you don't f*** with my kids," Jones said.

"So why don't you come on down here? Join me on the debate stage, and we'll see who's really the better candidate for Florida's first district, and you can stop creeping on my children and having pictures taken off them and then reposting them online when they're sitting alone in public, and events that aren't even mine," Jones added.

Jones is due to stand trial in January after allegations she improperly accessed a Florida health department computer system.

In a statement to Newsweek, a spokesperson for Gaetz said: "Rebekah Jones faces virtually certain losses in the November election and in her January criminal trial. To avoid disinformation, we mostly ignore her."

The Justice Department is investigating Gaetz over allegations he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paid her to travel with him, including over state lines.

Gaetz has not been charged with any crime and denies all the accusations against him.

In August, The Daily Beast reported that the DoJ won't make any decision on whether or not to bring charges over Gaetz until after the midterms in November to avoid the appearance of influencing people on how to vote.

Update 09/13/22, 2:09 a.m. ET: This article has been updated with a statement from Matt Gaetz's spokesperson.