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Politics & Policy

Dirty San Francisco streets star in DeSantis, Kennedy campaign ads

A screenshot of a new Ron DeSantis campaign ad, which was filmed on the corner of Hyde and Geary streets in San Francisco.
Ron DeSantis filmed a new campaign ad filmed in San Francisco on Tuesday. | Screenshot/SF Standard | Source: Screenshot/SF Standard

Republican presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis and would-be Democratic challenger Robert F. Kennedy Jr. are using campaign videos filmed on dirty San Francisco street corners to make a case for why voters should rally behind them.

In DeSantis’ video, posted online Tuesday, the Florida governor takes aim at liberal politicians, saying, “These policies have caused people to flee this area.” Behind him is a filthy city street corner complete with graffiti and garbage strewn on the sidewalk.

“They don’t prosecute criminals like they do in most parts of the country, and the wreckage has been really sad to see,” he says.

Ron DeSantis appears to have filmed a campaign ad on the corner of Hyde and Geary streets in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood. | Julie Makinen/The Standard

Norwood Sylve has lived at Hyde and Geary streets where the DeSantis video appears to have been shot for nine years.

Sylve said he saw some guys in suits on the corner a few days ago while walking his dog.

“We are going through hell in SF, but it’s not good for him to come here and say that,” said Sylve.

The Florida governor, who attended fundraising events for his campaign in Sacramento and Woodside, apparently stopped off in San Francisco to film the one-minute spot in which he paints San Francisco as a once-vibrant city that collapsed because of leftist policies.

DeSantis is one of several presidential hopefuls to hit up Bay Area donors in recent days, including former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. California Gov. Gavin Newsom called DeSantis a “small, pathetic man” on Twitter for his part in flying migrants to Sacramento.


In San Francisco to see the homeless situation with my own eyes If you like this video and want to help me be President of the United States go to and donate now

♬ original sound – Robert F. Kennedy Jr

But DeSantis is not alone in using San Francisco’s problems as a backdrop for a campaign spot.

In a video posted this week to his TikTok channel, Kennedy stood on a Mission District corner last week as he called out the need to fix homelessness by providing more Section 8 vouchers.

He said such funding is “more important than funding wars, than funding overseas adventures. […] Thirty-five percent of Americans are on the precipice of ending up on a corner like this.”

President Joe Biden also came to the Bay Area this week for fundraisers in Atherton, Los Gatos and Marin County.