Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Shalimar, announced on Monday he will run for the congressional seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., who is retiring from Congress.
Gaetz had been planning to run for the state Senate seat currently held by his father who is facing term limits. Last week, state Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Destin, announced he would not run to replace Miller.
In his campaign launch on Monday, Matt Gaetz stressed his conservatism.
“Washington’s failures have left the American people with trillions in debt, illegal immigrants sucking us dry, and attacks from Muslim terrorists rising,” Gaetz said. “While I had planned to continue serving in the Florida Legislature, the fights we must win to save this country are in Washington. Our Constitution is being ignored, our veterans have been abandoned and our Second Amendment rights are under attack.
“When Donald Trump is president, Northwest Florida’s voice in Congress must ring loud and clear for strong, conservative leadership,” Gaetz added. “Mine will. Whether it was banning Obamacare-funded abortions, blocking attempts to repeal ‘Stand Your Ground,’ cutting taxes by over $1 billion or supporting military families, I’ve been an effective leader in the Florida House. I’m ready to fight and win for Northwest Florida in Congress.”
Gaetz is not the only state legislator with an interest in the race. Buzz is growing that state Sen. Greg Evers, R-Milton, could also jump in the Republican primary. So could Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward and Escambia County Elections Supervisor David Stafford. In the meantime, retired Navy Capt. Brian Frazier, who served 25 years on active duty and launched a primary challenge to Miller over the summer, continues his campaign. Other candidates running in the Republican primary include businessman and retired Marines officer Cris Dosev and businessman Mark Wichern. Amanda Kondrat'yev, who works in technology and is backing U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., for president is running on the Democratic side.
This Panhandle district contains all of Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties and most of the population of Holmes County. It’s considered safe for the Republicans even with Miller headed to the sidelines.
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