Why shouldn't Matt Gaetz run for Attorney General? - Florida Politics

Why shouldn’t Matt Gaetz run for Attorney General?

Why doesn’t Matt Gaetz run for Attorney General in 2018?

Increasingly, this is a question buzzing from the Panhandle to the Potomac.

The din about Gaetz entering the 2018 AG field is only getting louder now that it appears that Ron DeSantis will run for Governor and not the top law enforcement post.

So far only former circuit court judge Ashley Moody (definitely a comer) and state Rep. Jay Fant (not exactly a household name) are in the race. This leaves a lot of room for another candidate from the conservative wing of the Republican party to join the fray.

For much of his career, the first-term Republican congressman has proved adept at getting traction for significant issues and his pet projects. In Florida politics, Gaetz earned his reputation for oratory skills, pointed humor and blunt talk, as well as mastering social media and the internet to get things done.

As we noted in 2015: “Even those who disagree … concede that the only place Gaetz is more brilliant than he is when delivering a speech on the floor of the Florida House is when he is at a keyboard or on his smartphone and broadcasting to his friends and followers.”

Having the last name Gaetz doesn’t hurt either, being the son of North Florida political scion Don Gaetz. Name ID is definitely a commodity that could serve him well, particularly compared to those now in the AG race.

And he certainly isn’t afraid to make waves, especially when he proposed a bill February to “completely abolish” the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“Our small businesses cannot afford to cover the costs associated with compliance, too often leading to closed doors and unemployed Americans,” he wrote. “It is time to take back our legislative power from the EPA and abolish it permanently.”

While the proposal didn’t play well in some circles, it certainly solidified his base in the Panhandle. That, and the fact that he didn’t shy away from holding (occasionally contentious) town halls with constituents in several not-at-all-ironic “Open Gaetz Days.” He certainly isn’t afraid to play a possibly unfriendly room, unlike some of his congressional colleagues.

No doubt, moves like that take a courage of conviction, as well as more than a little chutzpah – another plus for a statewide run.

So tell us again why shouldn’t Gaetz throw his hat into the ring?


Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Orlando Rising and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


  1. Matt Gaetz is a backer of Donald Trump who believes the Russian leader over the FBI, CIA, and NSA who both said YES that Russia interfered with the election. Does Matt Gaetz also believe Russia over American patriots? Riding the shirttail of Donald Trump comes with political liability. Also, Will Matt Gaetz follow the “Fake News” reply to every piece of objective data counter to his position? Will Matt Gaetz label Florida media markets fake news and do as he pleases? This is a democracy and Matt Gaetz’s alignment with nationalistic forces, suppressing the media, believing Russia over our security leaders seriously alarms me.

  2. Anyone can propose a bill! Who if anyone thought that Bill would go anywhere? Then you think he should because of his last name? Heck I know some Nixon’s but I don’t want them running for office. RU for real?

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