Matt Gaetz wants to be governor of Florida: The Congressman, presently at war with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and threatening him with removal, is looking ahead to his next job in politics, reports Monday said.
Matt Gaetz: Governor of Florida?
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has mostly been in the news lately as part of the battle he’s waging against House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). Gaetz was part of the group of hardline Republicans who opposed McCarthy’s ascension to the speakership in January and are now threatening to remove him.
Last week, shortly after McCarthy moved to let an impeachment inquiry into President Biden go forward, Gaetz got up on the House floor and declared the speaker “out of compliance” with the House Freedom Caucus’ deal that had allowed his election to take place in January.
“The path forward for the House of Representatives is either to bring you into immediate total compliance, or remove you,” Gaetz said in the speech last week, even calling McCarthy’s impeachment inquiry announced “the rushed…and somewhat rattled performance you just saw from the speaker.” The Congressman went on to accuse McCarthy of not following through on promises related to cutting spending, as well as the lack of a subpoena so far for Hunter Biden to testify before Congress.
Gaetz, earlier this week, authored an op-ed for Newsweek calling for the impeachment — not merely an inquiry — of President Biden.
Now, it appears there might be a method to what Gaetz is doing: He wants to be governor of Florida.
According to NBC News, Gaetz is “widely expected” to run for governor of his home state. The next election for governor, however, is not until 2026.
The current governor of Florida is Ron DeSantis, who is running for president against Donald Trump, to whom Gaetz is a longtime loyalist. DeSantis is term-limited as governor, following his re-election in 2022, although there’s always the possibility that he will leave office early in the event that DeSantis is elected president. DeSantis, like Gaetz, was a Congressman from Florida prior to his election as governor, although DeSantis resigned his seat while running for governor.
The possibility of Gaetz running was raised repeatedly, the report said, at a reception for incoming Florida House Speaker Rep. Danny Perez.
“Many did encourage me to consider running for governor one day,” Matt Gaetz told NBC News of the Sunday evening event. “But we have an outstanding governor who will be in that position through 2026… My only political focus right now is Trump 2024.”
It would be assumed that Gaetz would be running for governor with the support of Trump, although what that support might mean in 2026 is another question entirely. Whether DeSantis would make it a 2024 proxy battle and back a different candidate to succeed him is a separate subplot worth following. Gaetz, a former ally of the current governor, has taken some shots at DeSantis, including describing him as “done” in an appearance for Trump back in August.
There have occasionally been rumors about Gaetz’s planned political machinations that haven’t come to pass. In 2019, it was reported that Gaetz was considering moving to Alabama to pursue that state’s U.S. Senate seat. in 2021, Axios reported that Gaetz was considering quitting Congress in order to take a job as a Newsmax host, but that never happened, either.
In another possible complication to his chances, Gaetz spent a considerable amount of time under federal investigation for sex trafficking, although, per NBC News, the Department of Justice informed Gaetz earlier this year that he would not be charged with a crime in the case.
“We have just spoken with the DOJ and have been informed that they have concluded their investigation into Congressman Gaetz and allegations related to sex trafficking and obstruction of justice and they have determined not to bring any charges against him,” the Congressman’s attorneys said in a statement in February.
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Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @StephenSilver, and subscribe to his Substack newsletter.
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