Matt Gaetz said no need for a runoff, he’s not running for Governor

'I have no plans to run for Governor.'

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz said he’s not running for Governor. He posted an announcement on social media the day Florida state lawmakers unrolled a runoff proposal seen by some as a move to hurt his chances.

The Fort Walton Beach Republican called runoffs an unnecessary expense. But he also said if his aspirations motivated a change in state law, that wasn’t necessary.

“1. Runoff elections cost taxpayers millions, increase targets for fraudsters and empower establishment candidates over firebrands. They are a bad idea,” Gaetz posted on X.

“2. You guys in Tallahassee didn’t have to do this. I have no plans to run for Governor.”

But Gaetz has widely been seen as a likely candidate for Governor. He’s one of many Republicans rumored to be considering the job once Gov. Ron DeSantis can’t run again thanks to term limits. Other candidates discussed include First Lady Casey DeSantis, U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds, Attorney General Ashley Moody, Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson for starters.

Many have wondered if a crowded field, with a winner-takes-all primary, would allow Gaetz to secure the Republican nomination with a plurality. Indeed, the prospect played a role in Florida Politics naming Gaetz as Florida’s Politician of the Year for 2023.

Asked if the post on X should be seen as a Shermanesque statement, one absolutely refusing an interest in the nomination, Gaetz didn’t go that far.

“I said something different,” he replied.

“I think I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.”

But if he sticks with the announcement, Gaetz’s exit from the field would rework the calculus for a number of campaigns.

It also could disrupt plans for Democrats, who have lost the last seven Governor’s elections in Florida. Most recently, Ron DeSantis won re-election with the largest margin ever by a Republican Governor in Florida. But some hoped a Gaetz nomination, of a candidate as disliked by the far left as he is loved by the far right and with personal scandals to match, would provide the best shot at winning the Governor’s mansion back in 2026.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • PeterH

    February 19, 2024 at 9:15 pm


  • Michael K

    February 19, 2024 at 9:24 pm

    Perhaps little Matty is moving to Russia to lend his full support to Putin. Logical next step for him.

  • JD

    February 19, 2024 at 9:40 pm

    Speculation is the bill will create more moderates. God I hope so.

  • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" American

    February 20, 2024 at 6:48 am

    Good mornting America,
    Part of Ron & Earl’s Sage plan for the political futures of Ron & Myself, Earl Pitts American, was to install The Donald as our Sage Border Czar & Matt as our Sage Govornor of Florida.
    But lately we’ve been thinking of reversing that by making Matt our Sage Border Czar and The Donald “The Sage Govornor” of “The Great State of Florida”.
    Relax your sphincters Sage Patriots, secure in the knowledge that I, Earl Pitts American, have a sage plan for your future. To everyone out there – its time to put your trust in EARL ….. not the Un-Sage MEDIA.
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts American

    • Dont Say FLA

      February 20, 2024 at 7:52 am

      But pops, the border is just a political football for today’s GOP.

      G0P is about shutting down the border deal, not the border.

      They need cheap workers. They need scared workers, especially housekeepers too scared to tell.

      They need to keep the southbound flow of guns and ammo going so it keeps the cheap workers and scared maids flowing north.

      The last thing on Earth the G0P wants would be a secure southern border to keep immigrants legal and limited in number.

      If they wanted that, Trump would have had Mexico build that wall and pay for it like he claimed 8 years ago. The wall could have been on the Southern border of Mexico where Mexico would pay for it and it would have been thousands of miles less wall to build and all the immigrants come from south of there, so it would have been a win win for the USA and Mexico, but

      Trump didn’t (and still doesn’t) really want the border to be under control. Based on his actions as President with a GOP Congress for 2 years and zero action, he and the G0P only wanted to complain about immigrants, because that is what he and they did, and that is what he and they continue to do.

    • JD

      February 20, 2024 at 9:51 am

      You know what’s still funny? $354M to be paid out by the Donald. Given he’s on the hook for that much, he’s now a “compromised security risk due to fiscal obligations”.

      You know what’s still funny? Gaetz getting probed about his paid underage sex party “probing”. It’s going to land him in jail so he will get a little more “probing”. Perhaps you have some “sage political” secrets you can share with him about “relaxing one’s sphincter”?

      *QUEUE LOUD PATRIOTIC AMERICAN MUSIC -Perhaps Twisted Sister’s We’re Not Gonna Take it – TO FURTHER WHIZZ- OFF ALL MAGATs*

  • Jelvis

    February 20, 2024 at 8:37 am

    House sent q boarder bill months ago that they passed. Senate should take it up

    • Dont Say FLA

      February 20, 2024 at 2:56 pm

      That is what G0P’s House Speaker Johnson keeps saying, but we all know if the Senate did their part and passed it back over the House for final approval, Johnson would never bring it to the floor.

      Johnson is weak. He cowers to the orange freak.

      • It’s Complicated

        February 20, 2024 at 6:01 pm

        The House would not need to pass the bill a 2nd time unless the Senate amended it. If the Senate passed it as is, the next stop would be the President’s desk.

        • Dont Say FLA

          February 20, 2024 at 9:18 pm

          That’s true and it’s key to the game: Mitch McConnell would tweak it a tiny bit. Then House “Speaker” Johnson would never bring it to the floor. It’s all BS. They had their perfect bill. House Speaker Trump told his House N_____ Mike Johnson to shut it down.

  • Matt is a perv?

    February 20, 2024 at 3:04 pm

    I wish a real tough journalist would investigate and report on Matt’s “adopted” son. Also, is Matt a pervert or not? What about his private plane ride to party in the Florida Keys? What happened? Matt is really suspect in my opinion. I would like to know who he really is and what he has really done. I don’t give a rat’s ass what he says.

  • Flash Light

    February 23, 2024 at 12:57 am

    No need to run for Guvn’r, Matt. Best put on your gold Trump sneakers, hit the exit, and start running from the law.

  • Preacher Matt

    February 24, 2024 at 2:20 pm

    Matt doesn’t want to be Governor. Matt wants to be a volunteer chaplain at the high school. Universal Life Church does online ordainment and it’s free. Anybody with 5 minutes of internet access can become an ordained chaplain and get easy access to high school kids. Go Matt Go!

  • tom palmer

    February 25, 2024 at 10:52 am

    Matt may not realize it, but there are Democratic primaries, too.

Comments are closed.


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