Two major allies of former President Donald Trump indicated this week that they were considering running for governor of Florida in 2026. If Rep. Bryon Donalds (R-FL) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) each seek the Republican nomination, it could set up a costly and crucial primary fight in the Sunshine State.
Donalds told Fox News this week that his current focus is to help Trump win the 2024 election. However, those close to his campaign told the outlet that he is actively considering a run for governor.
“I’m committed to making Biden a one-term president,” he said. “We’ll focus on that other stuff after President Trump gets inaugurated.”
Donalds also said that he would accept an invitation to be Trump’s running mate if offered.
The Florida representative may soon be joined by his colleague. Gaetz is expected to enter the gubernatorial race.
MATT GAETZ EXPECTED TO RUN FOR GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA: NBC NEWS
— NewsWire (@NewsWire_US) September 18, 2023
During a recent event for state Rep. Danny Perez (R), the incoming state House Speaker, Gaetz inferred to attendees that he may be running but deferred when asked directly.
“Many did encourage me to consider running for governor one day,” he said. “But we have an outstanding governor who will be in that position through 2026. My only political focus right now is Trump 2024.”
Trump’s campaign has not commented on the rumor that two of his allies may run for the same position.
Both Gaetz and Donalds have positioned themselves as key allies of Trump. The two young House members each endorsed the former president, even over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
Gaetz has also cut an independent streak from Republican leadership, playing a role in temporarily blocking the ascension of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) earlier this year. The maneuver increased Gaetz’s political profile and may play a role in the upcoming race.
Earlier this week, Gaetz publicly disagreed with Donalds’ support of a continuing resolution that would avoid a government shutdown.
Gaetz said that he opposed the bill, which he said was a “permission slip” for special counsel Jack Smith in his prosecution of Trump.