Matt Gaetz Defies Party Leadership To Campaign Against Fellow House Republican

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida defied the calls for GOP unity by campaigning alongside a primary challenger to Rep. Tony Gonzales of Texas on Thursday.

While attending an event in Texas, Gaetz joined forces with Brandon Herrera, a prominent social media influencer advocating for gun rights. It was Herrera’s strong influence that ultimately led to Gonzales being forced into a primary runoff earlier this month.

Despite pleas from leadership to avoid messy infighting, Gaetz disregarded their advice. He even went as far as quoting a post from Axios about these pleas, redirecting attention to the opposition from certain Republicans to Ukraine aid. On X, formerly known as Twitter, Gaetz wrote, “In other news – Grassroots Republicans plead with House GOP leaders to stop sending money to Ukraine.”

The Florida Republican has already thrown his support behind several other ultra-conservatives who are challenging the candidates preferred by party leadership. This includes supporting an opponent of Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.), whose primary election is scheduled for Tuesday.

Gaetz has consistently been a source of frustration for leadership, spearheading the initiatives to remove former Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his position.

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Last year, the Texas GOP censured Gonzales for his endorsement of a bipartisan gun safety measure, among other reasons, citing his more moderate stance.

The runoff election between Gonzales and Herrera is scheduled for May 28. The candidate who emerges victorious in the primary will be considered the frontrunner for the November elections.

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