Gaetz Says His Primary Challenger Is a 'DEI Instructor'

Florida congressman claims Kevin McCarthy recruited his challenger to run
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2024 12:00 AM CDT
On Last Possible Day, Gaetz Challenger Launches Campaign
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., center, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., walk with a reporter, left, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, April 18, 2024.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Friday was Florida's qualifying deadline for federal candidates, and a primary challenger filed to run against Matt Gaetz just in the nick of time. Aaron Dimmock, a retired naval officer and aviator, is running as a Republican in the state's 1st Congressional District, which Gaetz currently represents in the House. The two will face off in the August 20 primary, the Hill reports. Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report posted on X that it "will be a race to watch." Whoever emerges victorious from the primary will face Democrat Gay Valimont, that party's automatic nominee, in the general election, the Pensacola News Journal reports.

Gaetz, 41, who has served in the House since 2017, has successfully fought off primary challengers in the past in his solidly Republican district. According to a LinkedIn profile appearing to belong to Dimmock, he recently served as the director of the Missouri Leadership Academy, and Gaetz says in a statement that Dimmock is a "Missouri-based DEI instructor." (On X, he posted a screenshot of a social media post in which Dimmock used the #blacklivesmatter hashtag, and also claimed former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy recruited Dimmock to run.) His statement continues, "Aaron is not in Kansas City anymore. This is Trump Country. Our pronouns are USA and MAGA." (More Matt Gaetz stories.)

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