Rebekah Jones wonders if Ron DeSantis would come to Matt Gaetz’s aid

Rebekah Jones
'Obviously, he doesn't want me to win. But being in close proximity to Gaetz is a bad look.'

There was a time when Gov. Ron DeSantis and Rep. Matt Gaetz were close. Now, Rebekah Jones, a DeSantis’ nemesis and Gaetz’s likely election opponent, is wondering if the Governor would dare support him against her.

Jones, a Gulf Breeze Democrat, and DeSantis have been in hostile conflict ever since she was fired from her Department of Health job two years ago. Jones accused his administration of manipulating COVID-19 data, an accusation the state Inspector General dismissed last week as unsubstantiated.

Now, she’s the leading Democratic candidate in Florida’s 1st Congressional District. The western Panhandle district has an overwhelmingly Republican base. Yet Gaetz, a Republican from Mary Esther, could be in trouble in the election according to some polls. That could be in part because of the cloud of a sex-with-minors criminal inquiry involving Gaetz’s friend and associate Joel Greenberg.

“He hasn’t been seen publicly with him in a year and a half,” Jones observed of DeSantis and Gaetz.

Yet DeSantis’ staff and supporters routinely call Jones a grifter, and worse, while she routinely calls DeSantis a liar, and worse.

She wondered aloud: If Republicans began to think Gaetz could lose, would the Governor’s dislike for her overcome any concerns he might have of backing Gaetz, once a close associate, while there remains any prospect the Governor might get dragged deeper into the Greenberg case, as reports have suggested.

Both Gaetz and Jones have primary opponents, but Gaetz and Jones are heavy favorites to prevail in the Aug. 23 Primary Elections.

“Being close to Gaetz only hurts DeSantis statewide, because Gaetz is not popular, not even in his own district,” Jones said. “Obviously, he (DeSantis) doesn’t want me to win, because that would destroy his narrative. But being in close proximity to Gaetz is a bad look.”

“So, I don’t know,” Jones concluded. “Nothing that man (DeSantis) does makes sense, so I don’t think I can try to rationalize what he would want to do.”

Public polling has shown Jones within striking distance of Gaetz. Her campaign’s internal polling from The Listener Group showed her leading Gaetz by 6 points in March, she said.

Despite her national image as a DeSantis nemesis, Jones said she’s campaigning in CD 1 on everyday issues. Jones said she’s making inroads with voters who are convinced Gaetz is out of touch on such issues.

“I’m not running a campaign that’s driven by divisive language or ideological burdens. And I’m talking about real-people issues that affect people every day. And that’s something Matt Gaetz has never done,” she said. “We just want basic maintenance of our area in Northwest Florida without the culture wars.”

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]


7 comments

  • Jerry

    June 1, 2022 at 7:06 pm

    This woman is nuts. She’s got legal problems of her own. She’s presented no evidence to back up her claims. Investigations have turned up nothing. No former coworkers have come forward supporting her claims. Doctors and epidemiologists have said over and over again that Florida is not misrepresenting the stats.

    But the liberal media continues to give this woman air time and credibility.

    Apparently yelling conspiracy theories without evidence is OK for the Democrats to do.

    • That face

      June 2, 2022 at 4:05 am

      I just feel sorry the last thing some poor girl saw before he killed her was Matt gaetz face.

    • Serenity now

      June 2, 2022 at 10:12 am

      That last sentence was a joke, right?

  • Garrett S

    June 1, 2022 at 7:15 pm

    Why are both of the polls linked to in the article campaign funded polls by Rebekah Jones? One link says public polling and links to a candidate funded poll by the Listener Group. The second link says internal polling and also links to a candidate funded poll by the Listener Group.

    • Julia

      June 1, 2022 at 9:48 pm

      Why hasnt Matt Gaetz been charged with anything? The story that Scott Powers links to is over a year old.

  • Phil Morton

    June 2, 2022 at 4:55 am

    Both Democrats have already qualified by petition. That’s pretty impressive especially considering none of the Republicans even tried. Grassroots support will be key to winning this race.

  • Impeach Biden

    June 2, 2022 at 6:53 am

    Rebekah Jones, the fake scientist. She has quite a history if you go back and look at her troubles at LSU, her romantic relationship with a college student at FSU that delivered her a child while she was married. She gathered lots of headlines and made the rounds on CNN because she went after our fine Governor of Florida. She was fired because she is incompetent and a political hack. She started a “go fund me” page under an alias and collected well over 300k. I can’t believe this crazy woman stands even the slightest chance up there in the panhandle of Florida. Read her history and learn from it.

Comments are closed.


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