getzA close aide of former President Donald Trump is seizing a moment right now in Congress after a federal sex trafficking investigation. He put himself in the national spotlight by being part of an effort to block McCarthy securing the Speakership, bringing the House to a standstill in the process. He has drawn the ire of many people in his party including Rape. Nancy Mays (RS.C.) who called Gaetz a “D-lister” and cheater and former GOP Speaker Newt Gingrich, who called Republicans trying to stop McCarthy’s speakership as “kamikazes”. All of this makes Gaetz eyeing a run for Florida governor in 2026, even though the field will be crowded.

During his time in the Florida Legislature from 2010–2016, he was known as a boxer who could grab headlines, which is now a hallmark of his three terms in Congress. But when he walked into the halls of the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee, he was seen, at least in part, as a part of the legislative leadership teams. He was never considered a counterpoint to the Republican leadership in the Florida House and even chaired the House’s powerful Finance and Taxes Committee. He was among the Florida lawmakers closest to the lobbyists, notable because he called McCarthy a “vessel for lobbyists”.

Lobbyists who know Gaetz in Tallahassee say his role as one of the most disruptive members of Congress — 20 Republicans rising up against McCarthy’s speakership bid — has been a transformation for the 40-year-old legislator.

“I don’t know that I’ve known 10 House members in my life who were as close to the lobbyists and the swamp when he was here,” said a veteran Florida lobbyist who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak freely about Gaetz. Gave the permission to. “My assessment is that Matt deserves a fucking Academy Award.”

Gaetz did not respond to a request for comment.

Gaetz’s run for Congress came after he dropped out of the Florida Senate race to replace his father, Don, the former Florida Senate President, who was facing term limits. His father was known as “Papa Getz” while Matt was known as “Baby Getz”. Matt Gaetz briefly ran against incumbent George Gainer, a Republican who would go on to serve six years in the state Senate before his retirement in 2022. Gaetz dropped out of the Florida Senate race after former US Rep. Jeff Miller retired from his Western Panhandle seat. , giving Getz an open district in which to run.

From the start of his 2016 congressional campaign, he framed himself as an anti-establishment figure who wanted to shake up Washington.

Gaetz said at the time, “I’m not running for Congress because I want to go to Washington.” “I’m running for Congress because we can’t trust Washington.”

But during the 2016 election cycle, Gaetz was essentially part of the establishment. He supported former Florida GOP Gov. Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign, an effort that was swept by Trump, made Bush a pariah with many in the Republican Party base now among Gaetz’s biggest supporters.

“@JebBush was an outstanding conservative governor,” Gaetz tweeted in August 2015, two months after Bush joined the race. “I like action, not just talk.”

Gaetz is now known as one of Trump’s biggest champions and is endorsing Trump’s 2024 White House bid, even though the former president is challenged by current Republican Florida Gov.

Trump has endorsed McCarthy for speaker, a move that hasn’t deterred Gaetz, whose opposition remained in place as of Thursday afternoon. On the ninth vote, Gaetz voted for Trump as most of his opposing McCarthy Republicans elected other members of the House, including Florida Republicans. Byron Donalds,

Donalds is also considered a possible 2026 GOP candidate for governor of Florida.

But Gaetz is also known for a federal investigation into whether he had sex with a 17-year-old girl and paid her for it. The investigation, which began during the end of Trump’s administration, has lasted more than two years, but a person familiar with the investigation told POLITICO in September that authorities are not expected to charge Gaetz. The Florida Republican steadfastly denied the allegations.

The standoff over McCarthy, however, remains one of Gaetz’s most high-profile feuds. During an interview on Fox News on Wednesday night, Gaetz railed against McCarthy and Washington in general, saying, “This city needs to change, and we’re going to change it one way or the other.”

“My team is the people in Florida who sent me here to fight for them,” he said. “My team is not a gathering of groups that think happens inside the swamp. We have to drain the swamp.

#Getz #leadership #time #Tallahassee

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