top of page

Is Matt Gaetz Too Implausible & Embarrassing Even For A District That Gave Trump 65.9%?

Generally speaking, the most universally hated House Republicans are in districts that are too red/too brain-washed by Fox and Hate Talk Radio for Democrats to even have a tiny chance to win in. (So why are you wasting your money imagining you can help depose them?) These are some examples (of their current districts, not the newly gerrymandered ones):

  • Marjorie Traitor Greene (GA)- R+28

  • Paul Gosar (AZ)- R+22

  • Kevin McCarthy (CA)- R+12

  • Lauren Boebert (CO)- R+6

  • Louie Gohmert (TX)- R+25

  • Madison Cawthorn (NC)- R+9

  • Mo Brooks (AL)- R+17

  • Matt Gaetz (FL)- R+20

North Carolina voters are asking the state board of elections to keep Cawthorn off the ballot baed on the 14th Amendment's prohibition of insurrectionists sitting in Congress. Cawthorn was an instigator of violence against the U.S. on January 6th-- and continues to call for violence against the U.S. government. Losing his seat in Congress isn't nearly good enough. If that case turns out well, there's no doubt that other insurrectionists will be brought to the attention of courts as well. I'm not optimistic about that.

A more plausible way to get rid of some of this garbage would be through primaries, but I don't see any of them in real difficulty... except, perhaps one: child sex trafficker Matt Gaetz. Keep in mind that the "bluest" county in Gaetz's district, Escambia, has a PVI of R+15. The worst is Holmes county (R+77), also the least vaccinated county in Florida, 29%. Gaetz's hometown paper, the Pensacola News Journal, reported why yesterday. Reporter Jim Little went easy on Gaetz and didn't bring up his long history of bizarre sexual behavior or even his substance abuse problems.

What he did write was that "Most political watchers would agree that in 2022, Florida's 1st Congressional District should be a strong lock for an incumbent Republican congressman who is one of the most outspoken supporters of former President Donald Trump, but Rep. Matt Gaetz's potential legal troubles are shifting what's possible in Northwest Florida. Gaetz could be facing his biggest re-election battle since he first won the seat in 2016 as one in a field of seven candidates." This is what people in the Florida Panhandle are reading about their congressman:

Since last year, Gaetz has faced mounting pressure as leaks about a federal investigation into his relationship with a 17-year-old girl have made their way into the press, alleging he may have violated federal sex trafficking laws.
In the last month, pressure from the investigation has intensified as news outlets have reported more witnesses agreeing to testify in the case, including an ex-girlfriend of Gaetz.
...On the Republican side, Gaetz so far is only facing two challengers, Greg Merk and Jeremy Kelly. A third potential candidate, Bryan Jones, has registered with the Federal Elections Commission but has not yet filed as a candidate with the state of Florida.
Gaetz has raised more than $4 million for his re-election campaign, but most of those funds have already been spent.
Fundraising for Gaetz has slowed down throughout the course of 2021, and his campaign spent more than $100,000 in legal fees since news of the federal investigation broke.
Gaetz's campaign still has about $1.5 million in the bank, more than enough to remain a formidable opponent to anyone in Northwest Florida.
...[P]otential candidates with widespread name recognition in the district are likely biding their time as they wait to see what happens with Gaetz's legal battle.
Things could get complicated for Republicans if Gaetz leaves after the primary in August, Shively said.
"Republicans would look for somebody with a lot of resources who could jump right into the race and someone with some name visibility," Shively said. "Whereas if it happens during primary season, lower-profile candidates would have more of a shot."
Democrats shouldn't be completely ruled out, Shively said, as long as Gaetz remains in the race.
Currently, two Democrats have filed, Rebekah Jones and Peggy Schiller. Jones brings widespread name recognition as a result of her widely covered criticism of Gov. Ron DeSantis' COVID-19 policies and her firing from the Florida Department of Health.
"So with two things combined, a high name recognition, and then Gaetz confronting these ongoing legal troubles, particularly if that scandal continues to grow over this year, you could see the Democrat in striking distance," Shively said.



bottom of page