Matt Gaetz calls reports that he's running for governor 'clickbait' — but he's not denying it and claims 'dozens' of his former colleagues are pushing him to run

Rep. Matt Gaetz named a new legislative director after seeing two aides step down amid the scandal engulfing the Florida Republican.Joe Raedle/Getty Images
  • On Monday afternoon, NBC News reported that Rep. Matt Gaetz is expected to run for governor.

  • Gaetz told Insider in a statement the report was "overblown clickbait."

  • He said that "dozens" of his former colleagues in the state legislature asked him to run.

GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz said recent reports that he plans to run for governor of Florida in 2026 are "overblown clickbait."

On Monday afternoon, NBC News reported that Gaetz is expected to toss his hat into the ring after Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis exits the governor's mansion in 2027 due to term limits. When Gaetz attended a local GOP event on Sunday evening, he "strongly implied several times he would be running for governor," according to NBC.

In a statement to Insider, Gaetz downplayed the report.

"The NBC story is overblown clickbait," Gaetz said. He also said that "dozens" of his former colleagues from the state legislature encourage him "relentlessly" to pursue the position.

"I wasn't focused on any of that talk, though," he said. "My sole mission right now is to kill the Donalds CR that funds Ukraine, Jack Smith, and a weaponized Biden government."

Reports emerged Sunday night that fellow GOP Florida Rep. Byron Donalds and a group of House Republicans had introduced a continuing resolution to temporarily fund the government and avoid a shutdown at the end of the month.

Gaetz, alongside a handful of other House Republicans, was quick to shoot down Donalds' idea on Twitter.

"I will NOT surrender," he wrote on Sunday.

Donalds on Monday attempted to explain to Gaetz online that defunding the government wouldn't shut Special Counsel Jack Smith's prosecution of former President Donald Trump.

"It is so painful watching someone I admire so much author a continuing resolution to fund the government agencies I loathe," Gaetz tweeted in response.

Gaetz's treatment of his fellow Floridian legislator is notable as Donalds has also been rumored as a possible candidate for governor in 2026.


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