Don Gaetz, father of Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, announced his intention to return to the Florida Senate.
Gaetz, 75, reportedly said he is preparing to file for a Florida Senate run to succeed outgoing state Senator Doug Bronxson. The elder Gaetz’s intention to run follows former state Representative Frank White’s decision to end his campaign for Bronxson’s seat.
“I told him ‘I don’t have any plans to run for the Senate’ but I told people I would listen. So I’m listening. That spread,” Gaetz said, per the Pensacola News Journal. “Then three or four days ago Frank (White) said ‘Don, if you run I will withdraw.’ That made the decision a lot easier.”
White has reportedly thrown his “full support” behind Gaetz and referred to him as a “living legend.” Bronxson also expressed support for Gaetz’s return to the state Senate.
Former Florida senator Don Gaetz to run for District 1 seat
— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) October 2, 2023
The elder Gaetz, who served as a member of the Florida Senate from 2006 to 2016, also served as the chamber’s president during his time in office. Gaetz has signaled he will focus on combatting inflation, job creation, and parental rights in education if elected back into the Senate.
“I think he is considered one of the best Senate presidents,” Broxson said. “His members thought he was so inclusive and willing to serve with them and work on projects they thought were important.”
Gaetz previously supported Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ “effort to beat woke-ism out of the Florida Education System.”
“Living in Northwest Florida I think we’re buffered from some of the outrages,” he said. “I don’t want our state education system to decide what books my child can or can’t read, I want that to be a family decision.”
The Florida Senate hopeful said his decision to run is not based upon speculation over his son Matt’s potential 2026 Gubernatorial run in the Sunshine State.
“Matt has encouraged me to run for the Senate, but I know in Washington he is laser focused on the budget issues, trying to control spending, trying to pass term limits,” Gaetz said, according to POLITICO. “He is not focused on running for governor. He has no plans to run for governor.”
Yesterday, the younger Gaetz filed a motion to vacate Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House. Gaetz has been an outspoken critic of McCarthy.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) filed a motion to vacate the chair, setting up a vote to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) within two legislative days. pic.twitter.com/lBOdFJqp6c
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 2, 2023
“Mr. Speaker, pursuant to clause two A1 of Rule nine, I rise to give notice of my intent to raise a question of the privileges of House,” Gaetz said Monday evening. “Declaring the office Speaker of the House of Representatives to be vacant. Resolved that the office of Speaker of the House Representatives is hereby declared to be vacant.”