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Tipsheet

Is This Who Will Take DeSantis's Place Should He Run For President?

AP Photo/John Raoux

With Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla) being term-limited and likely to run for president in 2024, questions are circulating about who will replace him. 

According to Politico, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla) is reportedly a top contender to take over as Governor in the Sunshine state. 

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“His ability to win a larger primary, I think, is as strong as anyone,” Rep. Alex Andrade (R-Fla) said. “I think he’s a serious candidate for any Republican primary for any race he wants to get into.” 

Gaetz has been in the headlines for months, and a new political career could remake his image. 

With the Department of Justice’s threat to charge him being behind him, Gaetz looks like an excellent pick to be in Florida’s GOP gubernatorial primary.

Federal prosecutors chose not to hold Gaetz responsible in a sex-trafficking probe hanging over his head for nearly two years. Last month, the Florida Republican and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy criticized each other as Gaetz held out his vote to make McCarthy speaker. 

Chaos on the House floor eventually led to Gaetz voting in “present” for McCarthy after a week-long frenzy of voting. 

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If DeSantis becomes the 47th president, current Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez would finish his term and run unopposed as Governor.  

“If DeSantis finishes his term, you can imagine one or multiple current [Florida] Cabinet members in a crowded primary, or you can imagine an anointing,” said Andrade. “Either way, it’s not hard to see how Gaetz comes out of the primary.”

It would be no pipe dream for Gaetz to secure the votes needed to take over DeSantis’s seat. He was re-elected to his Florida congressional district by more than 35 percentage points. 

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