A veteran Florida Republican related to one of the most vocal MAGA firebrands is eyeing a political comeback.
Former state Sen. Don Gaetz announced his intention to return to office on Monday, according to the Pensacola News Journal.
Gaetz is running to succeed retiring state Sen. Frank White in Florida’s District 1.
“He has my full support,” White said in a text to the News Journal.
“Don Gaetz is a living legend for good reason, and his record speaks for itself,” he said.
The 75-year-old Gaetz served in the Florida Senate from 2006 to 2016, according to The Hill.
He was elected as the president of the state Senate in 2012, serving until 2014.
Gaetz is the father of U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican who has represented Florida’s 1st Congressional District since 2017.
The elder Gaetz’s announcement of a political comeback comes as his son faces sharp scrutiny from his fellow Republicans in the House of Representatives.
His critics object to his efforts to expel Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy from his leadership position in the chamber.
It’s all show for his run for governor, even his dad is coming out of retirement to run again to help his son.https://t.co/B9FA1Sa3PG
— Dachshund Lover (@DachshundLove17) October 2, 2023
Don Gaetz denied that his political comeback bid had anything to do with his son’s career in remarks provided to The Associated Press.
He also rejected the idea that his son was seeking a different office, saying, “Matt’s not pursuing any run for governor.”
“He’s pushing forward tackling budget and spending problems in Washington and fighting for term limits,” the elder Gaetz said.
He cited Florida’s affordability crisis as the motive behind his state Senate campaign.
“High costs, these kitchen table issues, make it hard for people to live here. The state of Florida has to become an affordable state to live in,” Don Gaetz said.
The elder Gaetz was previously the victim of a fraud scheme in which a Florida man attempted to extort $25 million from him, claiming that he would provide Matt Gaetz with a presidential pardon for supposed child sex crimes, according to Politico.
A Department of Justice investigation into the allegations against the younger Gaetz resulted in no charges, and Stephen Alford was sentenced to 62 months in prison for his role in the plot.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.