Don Gaetz, the father of Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL), has expressed his intention to return to the Florida Senate, a position he once held. At 75 years old, Don Gaetz revealed his plans to file the necessary documents for a campaign in the upcoming year’s election. This decision comes after former state Representative Frank White decided to withdraw his campaign for the Florida Panhandle seat. White has described Don Gaetz as a “living legend” and has given him his full endorsement. State Sen. Doug Broxson, who had previously supported White for Senate District 1, has also shown support for Gaetz.
Don Gaetz’s priorities, if re-elected, include:
- Addressing high costs.
- Assisting individuals in securing well-paying jobs.
- Advocating for parents’ rights to choose reading materials for their children.
He has also expressed support for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s initiative to counteract “woke-ism” in the Florida Education System.
In his previous roles, Don Gaetz served as a healthcare executive and politician. His tenure in the Florida Senate spanned from 2006 to 2016, during which he also held the position of the chamber’s president. Among his contributions was the establishment of the Triumph Gulf Coast Board of Directors, in which he played a significant part. The Triumph Gulf Coast Board of Directors was responsible for managing the $1.5 billion fund from the 2010 BP oil spill settlement. After leaving the Senate, he joined the board.
In 2016, while Don Gaetz chose not to pursue a seat in the U.S. Congress, his son Matt did and was elected. Matt Gaetz aligned himself closely with former President Donald Trump and his “Make America Great Again” campaign. Currently, Matt Gaetz is in the news due to his disagreement with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) over government spending. He has even hinted at initiating a “motion to vacate” against McCarthy, which might result in a no-confidence vote for the speaker.
Some GOP members are also considering the possibility of expelling Matt Gaetz from Congress, pending the outcome of an Ethics Committee investigation.
Regarding his son’s political ambitions, Don Gaetz has clarified that while Matt has encouraged him to run for the Senate, he remains focused on budgetary concerns in Washington. According to the older Gaetz, “He is not focused on running for governor. He has no plans to run for governor.”