Matt Gaetz answers NBC News report he’s mulling Florida gubernatorial bid

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) is denying a report that he is mulling a run for governor in Florida when Gov. Ron DeSantis terms out in 2026.

NBC News reported that a Gaetz gubernatorial bid was “the topic of several conversations in Tallahassee over the past few days, including during a reception Sunday night for the incoming speaker of the Florida House.”

The GOP lawmaker “strongly implied several times he would be running for governor,” according to the network.

“There was a lot of talk about it at the reception last night, and Gaetz was telling people to basically expect him to be in,” a longtime Florida Republican lobbyist was quoted as saying.

“He’s 100 percent in,” a Florida Republican operative claimed.

Gaetz told NBC News a number of people at the event encouraged him to run, but that his only focus at the moment is trying to elect Donald Trump in 2024.

He would later issue a statement flat-out denying the report.

“The NBC story is overblown clickbait,” Gaetz said.

“I ran into dozens of former colleagues from my days in the state legislature. They encouraged me relentlessly to consider returning to Florida. I wasn’t focused on any of that talk, though,” he added. “My sole mission right now is to kill the Donalds CR that funds Ukraine, Jack Smith, and a weaponized Biden government.”

The “Donalds CR” is a reference to a continuing resolution to temporarily fund the government and avoid a shutdown introduced by U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) and other House Republicans.

Gaetz and Donalds would trade barbs over the legislation on X, formerly known as Twitter:

Interestingly, John Stemberger, president of Florida Family Policy Council, responded to rumors of a Gaetz gubernatorial bid by saying not on my watch.

“If Matt Gaetz runs for Governor in Florida I will personally and publicly use every resource available to to our movement to ensure he is defeated in the primary,” Stemberger tweeted.

Stemberger has clashed with the congressman over creating a new law that protects classes based on sexual orientation and gender identity while punishing Christians.


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