U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) questions General Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on “Ending the U.S. Military Mission in Afghanistan” within the Rayburn House Office Constructing in Washington, September 29, 2021.
Rod Lamkey | Pool | Reuters
Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz will fend off his primary challengers, clearing his path to a different term representing his deep-red Florida Panhandle district in Congress, NBC News projected.
Gaetz had come under fire in the first from veteran and former FedEx executive Mark Lombardo, who sought to highlight the controversial congressman’s many scandals — including being embroiled in a federal sex-trafficking investigation.
“Send this Marine to Washington. I’ll respect your loved ones,” Lombardo said in one in all quite a few ads attacking Gaetz, who has not been charged and who denies allegations of wrongdoing.
Gaetz, who has served in the first Congressional District since 2017, has long been one in all former President Donald Trump’s loudest supporters. But he received Trump’s endorsement just three days before the day of the first election.
Within the run-up to the first, Lombardo seized on Gaetz’s lack of an endorsement from Trump, questioning in an ad whether Gaetz was an “informant” who led the FBI to raid Trump’s Palm Beach resort home Mar-a-Lago.
Little polling was available ahead of the first, but Gaetz, an incumbent who far outraised and outspent Lombardo, was considered the likely favorite. Lombardo had self-funded the overwhelming majority of his campaign as of early August, campaign finance filings show.
Gaetz is predicted to breeze to victory in November within the district, which has not been represented by a Democrat in nearly three a long time.