Speculation has grown as of late as to whether Rep. Matt Gaetz will run for governor of the Sunshine State in 2026. While he has not ruled out the possibility, he has stated that ensuring former president Donald Trump wins a second term in 2024 is currently his number one political priority.
Gaetz was a senior advisor to current Florida governor Ron DeSantis‘ successful 2018 campaign, however in the years since the two have parted ways, with the congressman becoming a driving force in the “Make America Great Again” movement.
As NBC News reports, a reception was held Sunday night in downtown Tallahassee following the designation ceremony of soon-to-be speaker of the Florida House, state Rep. Danny Perez. Gaetz was described by attendees as “holding court” during the event, and was reported to have implied on numerous occasions that he hoped to one day become governor.
One lobbyist who was present at the reception said Gaetz’s gubernatorial ambitions were widely discussed by others, adding that the congressman was “telling people to basically expect him to be in.”
Gaetz told NBC News that while “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, who was elected to the House of Representatives in 2017, has repeatedly commended DeSantis’ job as governor, however, he has been a vocal critic of his presidential run. In April, the Florida congressman formally endorsed Trump, pointing out that the former commander-in-chief has “a lot of momentum.”
“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.”