Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz may be about to throw his hat in the ring to become the next Governor of Florida. The Congressman has not denied or confirmed rumors that he intends to leave the Senate and focus on gaining the keys to the Governor’s mansion in Tallahassee, currently occupied by GOP Presidential candidate Ron DeSantis. DeSantis is in his second term as Governor and cannot run again.
Traditionally seen as a battleground state, Florida appeared to turn red with the resounding victory of Ron DeSantis last year, making it an attractive prospect for Floridian politicians.
Rumors about Gaetz’s intentions were swirling in Tallahassee as Floridian Republicans gathered for the designation ceremony of Miami Republican state Rep. Danny Perez, who will become Speaker of the Florida House next year. A longtime GOP campaigner told NBC News, “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.”
Mr. Gaetz has not publicly substantiated the speculation but would say people have long encouraged him to consider entering a gubernatorial campaign, but added that, for now, he is focused on helping to return Donald Trump to the White House.
Despite a previously warm relationship between the two Floridians, Gaetz’s firm and vocal support for Donald Trump has caused a rift with current Governor Ron DeSantis. Trump has been unsparing in his condemnation of DeSantis, whom he refers to as “Ron DeSanctimonious.”
The Governor was recently forced to deny speculation that he intends to drop out of the Presidential race and focus on a run for the Senate – speculation said to have been initiated by President Trump. DeSantis, meanwhile, is holding firm to his second-place position in the GOP primary polls. The latest survey results show Trump with a commanding lead. A Morning Consult poll for September 22 – 24 places Trump at 58%, with DeSantis trailing on 15%. Vivek Ramaswamy is in third place with 9%.