TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The idea that Rep. Matt Gaetz will run for Florida governor in 2026 has been the topic of several conversations in Tallahassee over the past few days, including during a reception Sunday night for the incoming speaker of the Florida House.
Gaetz has long been considered on the shortlist of those who will try to seek the Republican nomination for governor, a field that is expected to be crowded because the incumbent, Ron DeSantis, will be facing term limits. DeSantis is currently running for president but would have two years remaining in the governor’s mansion if that run falls short.
Gaetz, like most other Florida Republican politicians, was in Tallahassee for the designation ceremony of Miami Republican state Rep. Danny Perez, who starting next year will serve as speaker of the Florida House.
As part of those festivities, Perez held a reception Sunday night at an AC Hotel by Marriott near the city’s downtown. At the event Gaetz was seen “kind of holding court,” and he strongly implied several times he would be running for governor, four people at the event told NBC News.
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