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NW Fla. Republican Matt Gaetz Announces Congressional Bid, Endorses Donald Trump

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Shalimar)
The Florida Channel

An open North Florida congressional seat has its first candidate in state Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach. Gaetz announced his bid Monday and endorsed Donald Trump for President.

Gaetz represents the Fort Walton Beach area in the Florida House of Representatives. Now he’s eyeing Washington D.C. Gaetz made both statements simultaneously. He says he’s excited about Paul Ryan as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and believes Donald Trump will be elected President of the United States.

“And that’ll turn that town on its head and hit the restart button," said Gaetz. "And so it’s an exciting time to offer yourself for service because a lot will be changing. Northwest Florida needs a strong, bold conservative voice to see those changes come to fruition.”

Gaetz is running in Congressional District 1, which encompasses the Northwest Florida Panhandle from Escambia County to Holmes County. The seat is currently held by Congressman Jeff Miller who is retiring. Gaetz says he wants to protect military bases from closure and boost support for veterans—both key issues in the area.

State Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, is also considering a congressional bid.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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