With an early-morning tweet, President Donald Trump on Friday endorsed Matt Gaetz in his bid for a second term as Northwest Florida’s man in Congress.
“Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida is one of the finest and most talented people in Congress,” Trump tweeted. “Strong on Crime, the Border, Illegal Immigration, the 2nd Amendment, our great Military & Vets, Matt worked tirelessly on helping to get our Massive Tax Cuts. He has my Full Endorsement!”
Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida is one of the finest and most talented people in Congress. Strong on Crime, the Border, Illegal Immigration, the 2nd Amendment, our great Military & Vets, Matt worked tirelessly on helping to get our Massive Tax Cuts. He has my Full Endorsement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 13, 2018
Gaetz, first elected in 2016, represents Florida’s first congressional district, which includes all of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton counties as well as part of Holmes County. He’s currently running for reelection and is facing a Republican primary challenge from retired Marine Corps pilot Cris Dosev, whom Gaetz also faced and defeated in 2016. Air Force veteran Phil Ehr and Dr. Jennifer Zimmerman are also seeking the seat as Democrats.
The president’s endorsement comes as no surprise — Gaetz has been a longtime supporter of Trump and then-candidate Trump campaigned for Gaetz in Pensacola in 2016. In 2017, Rep. Gaetz joined President Trump on Air Force One as he traveled to Pensacola for a campaign-style rally.
“I am deeply honored to receive President Trump’s endorsement today, and am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue working alongside him,” Gaetz said in a statement. “Since November 2016, the President has been working to make America great again, and I have gladly joined him in his efforts to drain the swamp, lower taxes, and expose the deep-seated corruption hidden in the centralized bureaucracy of Washington. President Trump’s support today has given me a renewed sense of confidence and vigor to continue my fight for the hard-working men and women of Northwest Florida.”
Gaetz and Dosev will face off in the Republican primary on August 28.