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Tags: matt gaetz | don gaetz | florida | politics | 2024 election | conservative | senate

Matt Gaetz's Father Plans Fla. Senate Return

By    |   Monday, 02 October 2023 07:48 PM EDT

Don Gaetz, the father of conservative firebrand Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., is planning to run for Florida's Senate again in 2024, Politico reported Monday.

Gaetz, 75, filed paperwork Monday to run for the seat held by state Sen. Doug Broxson, R-Pensacola, who is term-limited and cannot run again.

"This will sound like maybe it's not true, but there was a wellspring of support and encouragement and even demands that I run for office from people in Northwest Florida who I know and respect and people in Northwest Florida who I do not know," Gaetz told Politico.

Former Republican state Rep. Frank White was reportedly induced to drop out of the race by Don Gaetz's decision despite being the only candidate for the position.

Gaetz also told Politico he is concerned about the rising costs associated with living in Florida, such as property insurance, housing, and utilities. He said the state Legislature can address the root causes and "political pressure" contributing to the burgeoning expenses of the low-tax state.

According to Ballotpedia, Don Gaetz began his political career as town chair of Seaside, Florida, in 1990, and later served as a school board member and as schools superintendent for Okaloosa County. He first ran for state Senate in 2006 and served as Senate president from 2013 to 2014.

During his time in state office, Gaetz scrapped with many political foes, including Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., who as Florida's governor recruited opposition to Gaetz's bid to become president of the University of West Florida, according to Politico.

When he left the Florida Senate in 2016, Gaetz wrote a farewell note to his constituents.

"I cherish the smashmouth fights over matters of principle," he said. "I richly earned my opponents, giving, I hope, as good as I got. Politics can be thrilling and noble, just as it can be base and disgusting."

After Matt Gaetz, 41, won election to the state House while he was in office, Don Gaetz served alongside him in the state Legislature and the two were roommates in Tallahassee, Politico reported.

The younger Gaetz made headlines over the weekend for threatening to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., from his position over a perceived failure to abide by the terms that got him elected to the speakership in January.

Despite reports to the contrary, Gaetz said his son is not planning to run for governor of Florida in 2026.

"Matt has encouraged me to run for the Senate, but I know in Washington he is laser focused on the budget issues, trying to control spending, trying to pass term limits," Gaetz said, adding that his son will run for reelection to Congress next year. "He is not focused on running for governor. He has no plans to run for governor."

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Newsfront
Don Gaetz, the father of conservative firebrand Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., is planning to run for Florida's Senate again in 2024, Politico reported Monday.
matt gaetz, don gaetz, florida, politics, 2024 election, conservative, senate
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2023-48-02
Monday, 02 October 2023 07:48 PM
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