NICEVILLE, FLORIDA — Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz is rumored to be running for governor of the Sunshine State in 2026, NBC News reports.
Gaetz currently represents Florida’s First Congressional District in the Panhandle and has become known for being a die-hard Trump supporter – and a conservative voice in Congress.
“There was a lot of talk about it at the reception last night, and Gaetz was telling people to basically expect him to be in,” said a Florida Republican lobbyist.
Another Republican operative in Florida claimed they knew for certain that Gaetz will be running.
“He’s 100 percent in,” the person stated. “I think Gaetz is an instant front-runner and from what I hear he’s already won the Trump primary.”
GAETZ REJECTS THE RUMORS
The “firebrand” Republican at first did not deny his interest, simply saying: “Many did encourage me to consider running for governor one day,” adding that his “only political focus right now is Trump 2024.”
However, since the initial reports of his run were released, he has since distanced himself from the idea entirely calling it “overblown clickbait.”
"I ran into dozens of former colleagues from my days in the state legislature,” Gaetz told Axios. “They encouraged me relentlessly to consider returning to Florida. I wasn't focused on any of that talk, though."
Last month, Donald Trump Jr. and fiancée Kimberly Guilfoyle – a former Fox News contributor once married to California Governor Gavin Newsom – already endorsed a Gaetz gubernatorial run and Trump Jr. said he would be Gaetz’s campaign manager.
Gaetz responded by saying, “Oh man, I’m not even in the race yet but I have my first volunteer.”
SOCIAL MEDIA REACTS
Upon hearing about Gaetz’s rumored gubernatorial bid, the president of the Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC), John Stemberger, took to X to clarify his vehement opposition to a Governor Gaetz.
“If Matt Gaetz runs for Governor in Florida I will personally and publicly use every resource available to our movement to ensure he is defeated in the primary,” Stemberger wrote.
Conversely, conservative commentator Rogan O’Handley offered his support for Gaetz.
“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.”