Mike Huckabee endorses Matt Gaetz for Congress

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor and twice a GOP presidential candidate, has endorsed Matt Gaetz for Florida’s 1st Congressional District.

The campaign announced the endorsement Monday and released a YouTube video featuring Huckabee, who now lives in the district.

“I’ve seen a lot of people go to Washington promising to change it; instead, Washington changed them,” the former governor says in the video.

“I don’t worry about that with Matt Gaetz because if he gets elected to Congress, I think he will do what he has been doing all his political life – changing the institutions and challenging them.”

The endorsement can only burnish Gaetz’s cred with evangelical conservatives. Huckabee, who ran for president in 2008 and this year, was a Fox News Channel talk show host and is an ordained Southern Baptist minister.

“With Governor Huckabee’s endorsement, our high energy campaign continues to gain momentum,” Gaetz said in a statement, echoing a favorite expression of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.

“Fellow conservatives across Northwest Florida are excited about my campaign because they understand how important it is to defend the Second Amendment, stop illegal immigration, and defeat radical Muslim terrorists,” Gaetz added.

Gaetz, a Republican state representative from Fort Walton Beach, is seeking to win the GOP primary on Aug. 30 against seven other contenders, including state Sen. Greg Evers.

The winner of the primary is a virtual shoo-in to win the seat, ranked as the most Republican district in the state.

The endorsement video can be seen on YouTube.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.