Gaetz Shoots Down Rumors, Says ‘No Plans’ to Run for Governor

Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz says he will not run for Governor of Florida, insisting that he is “exactly” where he is supposed to be on Capitol Hill. Speculation has swirled for months that Gaetz may attempt to launch a bid to succeed incumbent Governor Ron DeSantis, who will be term-limited in 2026. Gaetz denied those rumors, however, in a social media post-Monday evening.

His announcement came in reply to a report that Florida lawmakers are considering re-introducing runoff primaries to state elections. Gaetz criticized the proposal filed Monday for the Florida House State Affairs Committee.

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

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

The report came from publisher Peter Schorsch of, who suggested the proposal was a “not so subtle shot” at Gaetz. Pressed on whether he was completely ruling out any interest in the Governor’s office, Gaetz reportedly told the website, “I said something different… I think I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.”

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With Gaetz regularly making national headlines as a Congressman in Washington D.C., his name has frequently been floated as a possible contender for the Governor’s mansion in 2026. The firebrand Republican has repeatedly denied any intentions of running but has stopped short of making absolute promises.

Following the ousting of former U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in October, Gaetz told CBS News Miami, “I’m not running for governor,” adding, “I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.”

In August, during a sit-down interview with Donald Trump Jr. and fiancée Kimberly Guilfoyle, Gaetz was again asked about his plans.

“There are a lot of people in here. Matt Gaetz, what’s the next move? I see some Matt Gaetz for president, I see some Matt Gaetz for governor,” Trump Jr. said.

“I want him to be governor first for Florida,” Guilfoyle added.

Gaetz replied, smiling, “Oh no, no, no. I would definitely enjoy that job so much I would never leave it, if I ever got that opportunity.”

In an interview with Axios last summer, Gaetz stated that he had “[run] into dozens of former colleagues from my days in the state legislature,” adding that they “encouraged me relentlessly to consider returning to Florida. I wasn’t focused on any of that talk, though.”

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The 2026 Republican primary for Governor could become crowded, with several names in Florida reportedly eyeing bids. Two of Gaetz’s colleagues in Congress have publicly expressed interest–U.S. Reps Byron Donalds and Mike Waltz. Several figures in DeSantis’s cabinet have also been floated as potential contenders, including state Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson, state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, and state Attorney General Ashley Moody.

Other stories you may want to read:

DeSantis Says Haley Has ‘Poisoned the Well’ By Courting Liberal Voters

Delray Beach Candidate Ryan Boylston ‘Hit’ by Truck This Weekend

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