Representative Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, has emerged in recent years as one of the most loyal elected officials to President Donald Trump. On the eve of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony, Gaetz even sent a tweet threatening to expose Cohen’s supposed extramarital affairs.
Now, Gaetz is reportedly eying a move to the Senate, as well as a move to another state. According to The Hill, Gaetz is considering moving across the state line into Alabama, in order to run for the U.S. Senate in 2020. The piece cited several House lawmakers.
Despite all of those quotes, Gaetz told the newspaper that he would possibly seek reelection in Florida.
“I think that my most likely path would be to seek reelection in the House,” he said.
Gaetz was born in Florida, graduated from Florida State, and has only ever represented Florida in the past. His father was also an elected official in that state. However, his Congressional district is in the Florida panhandle, which borders Alabama.
The Congressman, should he seek the seat and win the Republican primary, would be running against Sen. Doug Jones, the Democrat who, in a 2017 special election, defeated former Judge Roy Moore. During that race, Moore was accused by multiple women of having inappropriately touched them when they were teenagers.
According to one GOP lawmaker quoted by The Hill, Gaetz is eying the move because Alabama has only a one-day residency requirement, and because the Congressman believes that President Trump would endorse him, in what could end up a heavily competitive Republican contest.
— The Hill (@thehill) April 4, 2019
Rep. Bradley Byrne, a Republican, has already announced that he is running for the Senate seat, which was long held by Jeff Sessions, before Sessions resigned the seat to become President Trump’s attorney general, triggering the special election that was won by Jones. Despite rumors that he might try to reclaim his former seat, Sessions has said, per Politico late last year, that he is retired from politics.
Gaetz frequently appears on television as a Trump surrogate, while also backing the president’s agenda in Congress. Last month, the night before Michael Cohen was to testify before the House Oversight Committee, Gaetz tweeted at Cohen to ask him “do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends? Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat.” After the tweet was rebuked by both fellow members of Congress and the Florida Bar Association, the Congressman deleted it and apologized, per Fox News.