Matt Gaetz

Representative Matt Gaetz made a half-dozen stops across Santa Rosa County on Thursday to hear from his constituents, both supporters and opponents, dubbing it "Open Gaetz Day."

An overflow crowd greeted the Congressman at Grover T’s BBQ as he moved through the crowd in the parking lot, speaking with both supporters and opponents. Once inside, Gaetz moved though the main dining area greeting the lunchtime crowd, to the sound of competing chanters.

Courtesy of Matt Gaetz

One of the many executive orders from President Trump places a hiring freeze on federal workers. How could this impact civilian employees at military bases in Northwest Florida?

Matt Gaetz: "We’re talking about people who provide security services, who work in child centers, who do maintenance and yard work all around our military installations. I’m currently working with the Department of Defense to try to get a waiver for northwest Florida, so that civil servants who are working at or on our military bases would be exempt from this freeze."

House.gov

 We begin a new, twice-a-month feature on WUWF with U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz. Dave Dunwoody sat down with the newly-minted Congressman to speak about the first days of the 115th Congress.

On being a freshman lawmaker in Washington:

usf.edu

When the one hundred and fifteenth Congress convenes early next year, Republican Matt Gaetz will be a member of the freshman class in the House of Representatives.

The 34-year-old Gaetz, an attorney from Fort Walton Beach, collected 69.1 percent of the vote over Democratic nominee Steven Specht, to succeed First District Congressman Jeff Miller, who’s retiring after eight terms.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

In some key races in Florida and across the conservative Northwest region, it was nearly a clean sweep for the Republican Party.

Updating: GOP nominee Donald Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United States. In Florida, Trump narrowly edged out Democrat Hillary Clinton, with 49 percent of the vote compared to nearly 48% for Clinton, and picked up all of the state’s 29 Electoral votes.  

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

In the next installment of our update on the District 1 Congressional race, WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody sat down with Democratic nominee Steven Specht.

This is Steven Specht’s rookie season, politically speaking, and while Republican Matt Gaetz had to battle seven other candidates in the GOP primary, Specht got to the general election with no opposition. He says so far, no real surprises on the campaign trail.

usf.edu

It’s the home stretch of the 2016 campaign to decide who will succeed Jeff Miller in the U.S. House of Representatives. WUWF spoke with both candidates this week. First up, Republican nominee Matt Gaetz. 

This isn’t the 34-year-old Gaetz’ first rodeo, having won a seat in the Florida House of Representatives in 2010, he was re-elected in 2012 and 2014. He claims to have knocked on more than 8,000 doors in the First Congressional District.

  Voters will go to the polls in November not only to make their choice for president, but also for the man who will represent the western Panhandle in Congress. 

Matt Gaetz and Steven Specht took different paths to their parties’ nominations. Specht had no primary opposition, and advanced to the general election. For Gaetz, it was a fight with seven other Republicans in which he collected 36 percent of the vote in the primary.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

  Donald Trump made a return trip to Pensacola Friday evening and, it appears, he doesn’t like the media. "The show is beginning. Not the donors. Not the insiders. Not the media executives, very dishonest people." Statements like that are music to the ears of his supporters who, it seems, also don’t like the media. "These are very, very dishonest people."

City of Destin

Former Destin Mayor Mel Ponder is the apparent successor to Matt Gaetz in the Florida House of Representatives, according to unofficial figures from Tuesday’s primary. 

Ponder collected a plurality of the vote, just over 29 percent, against four other Republicans in House District-4, which covers Okaloosa County from the Gulf of Mexico to Interstate 10 and north of I-10, including the city of Crestview.

Florida GOP

  

Martin Simmons had a busy day Tuesday. He’s the Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida for Congressional District One. He likes to talk about the history of the district. "The last time an incumbent lost running for reelection to the US House from this district was 1934".

Sandra Averhart

The ballots have been counted and the unofficial results have been announced in Tuesday’s Primary Election in Florida.

Statewide, Amendment 4 won approval with 73 percent of voters in favor of it. The measure would authorize the Legislature to exempt property tax on solar equipment.

In the race for U.S. Senate in Florida, incumbent Marco Rubio easily defeated Carlos Beruff in the Republican Primary. Patrick Murphy won the Democratic Primary over top challengers Alan Grayson and Pam Keith. Paul Stanton won the Libertarian Party Primary.

Bay County

When the dust settled after qualifying closed on Friday, June 24, a number of candidates won their races unopposed. Leading the way is Republican Bay County Commissioner George Gainer, who’s now set to take over the new State Senate District 2 seat.

With incumbent Don Gaetz unable to seek reelection due to term limits, the stage was set for a battle over the newly reapportioned District 2 seat between Gainer and Gaetz’ son, Matt Gaetz.

Photo via Flickr// David Leo Veksler / https://flic.kr/p/668ZXp

 State Senator Greg Evers’ Facebook page promoting a drawing for an AR-15 has been shut down by the social media outlet. The drawing is receiving scrutiny from other quarters as well.

Evers is one of five candidates seeking the Republican nomination in the August 30 primary to succeed Jeff Miller. Facebook says the page violated its terms and “promoted graphic violence.”

Two weeks after Cong. Jeff Miller announced he would not seek a ninth term in the House, there are now five candidates for the seat: four Republicans and one Democrat.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Fort Walton Beach, represents the 4th District in the Florida House. While qualifying for the August 30 primary isn’t until the week of June 20, Gaetz said last week that he would make a quick decision on entering that race, which he did this week.

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