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Incumbent Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz clinched his primary in Florida on Tuesday night and will now face off against Democratic candidate Phil Ehr in November as he seeks his third term in Congress.
“Voters reward fighters even if Washington, D.C., doesn’t always,” Gaetz, R-Fla., told Fox News Wednesday morning.
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Gaetz, a staunch defender of President Trump, easily won his primary Tuesday night against two other Republicans, Greg Merk and John Mills, with the Associated Press calling the race in his favor just after 7 p.m. ET. Gaetz won with more than 81 percent of the vote.
“GOP Establishment had a rough go of it in my beloved Sunshine State,” Gaetz told Fox News Tuesday, pointing to other races across Florida — the 13th and 15th Congressional Districts.
Gaetz said that House Republican leadership backed incumbent Rep. Ross Spano, R-Fla., in his primary in Florida’s 15th, but that Gaetz endorsed a newcomer, Scott Franklin, who ended up defeating the incumbent.
Meanwhile, in Florida’s 13th, Gaetz said that House GOP leadership backed former Senate staffer and lobbyist Amanda Makki, but that he endorsed Anna Luna, a veteran, who won that race, and will take on incumbent Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist in November.
“The Gaetz-endorsed candidates closed strong,” Gaetz told Fox News.
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Gaetz’s primary win comes after he swore off accepting campaign contributions from federal political action committees earlier his year.
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