OAN’s Stephanie Stahl
5:03 PM – Monday, October 2, 2023
Don Gaetz, a former Republican state Senate president and the father of Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, announced that he intends to return to the Florida Senate, a chamber he led from 2012 to 2014.
Gaetz, 75, would be running for the state Senate seat now held by outgoing GOP Senator Doug Broxson, who is leaving office next year since his term limit is coming to an end.
Gaetz senior maintained that he has no intention of running for higher office, clarifying that his only political aspiration is to return to the Senate in order to address the cost of living in Florida.
“It’s apparent that while we are a low tax state, we are also a high electricity cost, high insurance if you can find it and a high housing cost state,” he said. “High costs, these kitchen table issues, make it hard for people to live here. The state of Florida has to become an affordable state to live in.”
His son, Matt Gaetz, has recently been a prominent critic of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) regarding spending legislation, and has been representing a Panhandle district in the U.S. House since 2017.
This week, the younger Gaetz officially announced his intention to file a motion to vacate McCarthy over this dispute. This could potentially lead to a vote on whether McCarthy should remain as the speaker. Matt Gaetz also served in the state House from 2010 to 2016.
Matt has been rumored to be a potential candidate for Florida governor in the upcoming 2026 gubernatorial election, when Florida’s current governor, Ron DeSantis, will be forced to step down due to term limits.
Don Gaetz clarified that his decision to return to the Florida Senate has no correlation to his son’s future plans.
“He’s pushing forward tackling budget and spending problems in Washington and fighting for term limits,” Gaetz [senior] said.
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