It appears Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has his eyes set on potentially becoming Florida’s next governor in 2026. The conservative firebrand has reportedly shared his interest in running but says his top priority is ensuring that former President Donald Trump is elected president in 2024.
🚨Rep. Matt Gaetz expected to run for Governor of Florida in 2026
He has my full support if he does
This state only wants the toughest and truest Republicans fighting on their behalf
— DC_Draino (@DC_Draino) September 18, 2023
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) would not be able to seek another gubernatorial term after 2026, considering that he is already serving his second term as governor of the Sunshine State. Gaetz served as senior adviser to DeSantis’ successful 2018 campaign.
Yet, with DeSantis now running against Trump for the presidency, and Gaetz being one of the former president’s top supporters, it appears the two have slightly parted ways.
NBC News reported that Gaetz recently attended a reception in downtown Tallahassee following the designation ceremony of soon-to-be Florida House speaker, state Rep. Danny Perez (R). The outlet described Gaetz as having implied on numerous occasions his hope to become the next governor of Florida.
A lobbyist who was present at the reception told NBC News that his gubernatorial aspirations were widely discussed by many at the event, adding that the congressman was “telling people to basically expect him to be in,” per the Post Millennial.
Gaetz told NBC News that although “many did encourage [him] to consider running for governor one day,” Florida has “an outstanding governor who will be in that position through 2026.”
“My only political focus right now is Trump 2024,” he added.
Gaetz has repeatedly applauded DeSantis’ tenure as governor of the Sunshine State. With this being said, he has also been a vocal critic of the governor’s presidential run against Trump.
Gaetz endorsed Trump in April 2023, citing the former president’s “momentum.”
Trump currently holds a commanding lead over all GOP presidential candidates. A Morning Consult poll has the former president with 60% support in the Republican primary, with DeSantis trailing far behind in second place with just 13% support.
“If there’s any job that might be even a little better than the President [of the] United States, it would be the governor of the Sunshine State,” Gaetz said at the time. “I’m glad Ron DeSantis is there and I hope we get him for two more years.”