GOP Congressman Matt Gaetz Gets Democratic Challenger

Jul 24, 2017

Phil Ehr speaking at a campaign event.
Credit Phil Ehr campaign Facebook page

Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz has a challenger for the 2018 election.  A retired naval officer has filed for the Democratic nomination.

Phil Ehr spent 26 years in the Navy, and he’s running as a Democrat in Florida’s first congressional district.  Ehr is a former Republican, and he believes a centrist approach will deliver more for voters.

“Let’s take a look at the number one issue in almost all elections including the one coming up, and that’s the economy and jobs,” Ehr says.  “Where is the bipartisan infrastructure plan?  It ain’t happening, at least so far.”

Incumbent Matt Gaetz might welcome that fight.  The Republican cut his teeth on economic issues in the state Legislature.  His far-west district is deep red—the Cook political report lists it as the most Republican seat in the Florida delegation.

But Ehr believes the conservative stronghold is more diverse than people realize.

“This district and the rest of the panhandle is generally viewed by the political establishment as a one party congressional district,” Ehr says.  “Well it doesn’t have to be that way, and it’s not that way now.”