Matt Gaetz

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Matt Gaetz
File:Matt Gaetz.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 1st district
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded by Jeff Miller
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 4th district
In office
April 15, 2010 – November 8, 2016
Preceded by Ray Sansom
Succeeded by Mel Ponder
Personal details
Born (1982-05-07) May 7, 1982 (age 36)
Hollywood, Florida
Political party Republican
Residence Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Alma mater Florida State University (B.S.)
College of William and Mary (J.D.)
Profession Attorney

Matthew "Matt" Gaetz (born May 7, 1982, in Hollywood, Florida) is a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives representing Florida's 1st congressional district. Previously, he served in the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 4th District, which includes most of Okaloosa County, from 2010 until 2016.

Gaetz is the son of Florida politician Don Gaetz, who was a member of the Florida Senate from 2006 to 2016 and the President of the Senate from 2012 to 2014.

Early life and education

Gaetz graduated from Florida State University in 2003 and from The College of William and Mary in 2007 with a juris doctor.[1]

Florida House of Representatives

In 2010, following the resignation of Republican State Representative Ray Sansom, who had briefly served as the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, due to corruption charges,[2] Gaetz ran in the special election to succeed Sansom in the 4th District, which included southern Santa Rosa County and Okaloosa County. In a crowded Republican primary that included Craig Barker, Kabe Woods, former State Representative Jerry Melvin, and Bill Garvie, Gaetz emerged victorious with 43% of the vote. In the special general election, Gaetz defeated Democratic nominee Jan Fernald in a landslide, winning 66% of the vote. He was re-elected without opposition in 2010. In 2012, following the reconfiguration of Florida House of Representatives districts, Gaetz's 4th District had the Santa Rosa County portions removed. He ran for re-election there and won unopposed. Gaetz was re-elected in 2014 without opposition.

While serving in the Florida House of Representatives, Gaetz joined with State Senator Joe Negron to propose legislation that is "designed to accelerate the execution of many of the 404 inmates on Florida's death row" by requiring the Governor to sign a death warrant for those inmates who have exhausted their appeals,[3] noting, "Only God can judge. But we can sure set up the meeting."[4] He also joined forces with State Senator Greg Evers to repeal legislation that requires that 10% of gasoline sold in Florida contain ethanol, saying, "This is the bill that removes and repeals Florida's burdensome ethanol mandate."[5]

Following the trial of George Zimmerman for the shooting of Trayvon Martin, Will Weatherford, the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, announced that he would order hearings on the "stand your ground" law that was raised as an issue during the trial.[6] Gaetz, the Chairman of the Criminal Justice Subcommittee, was tasked with reviewing the legislation, and announced before hearings that he would not support changing "one damn comma," though he indicated that he would listen to both sides' testimony during the hearings.[7] Following the conclusion of the hearings, he authored legislation that would allow defendants who successfully used a "stand your ground" defense during their trial "to apply for a 'certificate of eligibility' to expunge information related to 'stand your ground' from their criminal records."[8]

When his subcommittee was considering legislation that would "keep mug shots of people who are charged with crimes off the Internet until they are convicted," Gaetz brought up his 2008 arrest for driving under the influence, arguing that his mistakes made him who he is and that publicly available mug shots "could be a problem for those unaccustomed to publicity."[9]

Gaetz was re-elected unopposed to his third term in the legislature in 2014.

Florida Senate

Gaetz announced that he would run for the Florida Senate in the 1st District, currently held by his father, State Senator Don Gaetz, in 2016, when his father is term-limited.[10] On March 21st 2016 Gaetz withdrew to run for Florida's 1st Congressional District, since Jeff Miller is not seeking reelection.[11]

U.S. House of Representatives

On February 3, 2017, Gaetz proposed a bill, H.R. 861 (115th Congress) that would "completely abolish" the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), writing, "Our small businesses cannot afford to cover the costs associated with compliance, too often leading to closed doors and unemployed Americans. It is time to take back our legislative power from the EPA and abolish it permanently."[12] [13]

Committee assignments

Gaetz supporter of the 2nd Amendment

On February 28, 2016 USF Executive Director and NRA Past President Marion P. Hammer sent a "Florida Alert!" highlighting Gaetz open letter to Miguel de la Portilla criticizing him of not scheduling and killing the "Open Carry" bill.[14]

Matt Gaetz has an A+ rating with the National Rifle Association. [15]

References

  1. "Matthew Gaetz". Martindale-Hubbell. Retrieved 11 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Bender, Michael (February 21, 2010). "Florida House Speaker Ray Sansom resigns". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved May 2, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Klas, Mary Ellen (April 25, 2013). "Florida House approves speeding up executions". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved May 2, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Peters, Justin (November 7, 2013). "Meet the Uncompromising Ideologue Chairing Florida's "Stand Your Ground" Hearings". Slate. Retrieved May 2, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Flanigan, Tom (April 12, 2013). "Ethanol Fuels To Evaporate Under House Bill". WFSU-TV. Retrieved May 2, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Van Sickler, Michael (August 2, 2013). "Weatherford calls for hearings on 'stand your ground'". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved May 2, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Mitchell, Tia (August 22, 2013). "Matt Gaetz to rally base ahead of Stand Your Ground hearing". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved May 2, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Mullins, Dexter (March 25, 2014). "Proposed 'stand your ground' amendment would expunge records". Al Jazeera America. Retrieved May 2, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Van Sickler, Michael (February 18, 2014). "Matt Gaetz wants to talk about his mug shot, but not his arrest". Miami Herald. Retrieved May 2, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Henderson, Jeff (May 13, 2013). "Matt Gaetz Makes It Official, Will Shoot for Dad's Senate Seat in 2016". Sunshine State News. Retrieved May 2, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Clark, Kristen (March 21, 2016). "Matt Gaetz launches bid for Congress, handing fathers state Senate seat to George Gainer". Miami Herald.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Kaufman, Alexander C. (January 31, 2017). "Florida Congressman Drafts Bill To 'Completely Abolish' The EPA". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 1, 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "H.R.861 - To terminate the Environmental Protection Agency". February 3, 2017. Retrieved February 23, 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Florida Alert: Matt Gaetz never quits fighting for second amendment rights". NRA-ILA. February 28, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Vote Smart". Project vote smart. February 28, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links