Skip to comments.Gaetz set to endorse primary opponent of fellow Florida GOP lawmaker
Posted on 08/05/2020 7:33:17 AM PDT by RandFan
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) will endorse the primary opponent of Rep. Ross Spano, a fellow Florida congressman under investigation by the Department of Justice over a possible campaign finance violation.
Gaetz's camp is casting the decision to endorse Scott Franklin as a response to House GOP Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney's (R-Wyo.) support of a primary challenger to Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.).
Gaetz and other Republicans criticized Cheney at a House GOP conference meeting two weeks ago over that issue. They also questioned whether Cheney was sufficiently loyal to Trump.
After the meeting, Gaetz publicly called on Cheney to step down from leadership.
Cheney later pulled the support from Massie's primary opponent after the opponent came under criticism over racist tweets.
During the heated conference meeting, Gaetz questioned whether leadership would be playing in primaries and asserted that he would be happy to get involved in primary races if that was the case.
Sources close to Gaetz said the Department of Justices (DOJ) investigation into Spanos potential campaign finance violations also sparked his decision to back Franklin, the Lakeland City commissioner.
Spano did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
House GOP leaders rarely get involved in primary battles. Cheney described his initial steps into Massie's primary as an exception. Massie had angered lawmakers in both parties and President Trump earlier this year after Massie threatened to hold up consideration of a coronavirus relief package.
The House Ethics Committee launched a probe into Spano in September for allegedly accepting roughly $180,000 in improper loans from friends and using it for his congressional campaign as if they were personal funds. Under campaign finance law, candidates are not capped on personal funding their campaigns, but contributions from others are limited to $2,700.
The DOJ announced it was launching an investigation into the matter in November. Spano has been cooperating with the investigation and has since repaid the loans.
If Ross Spano is the Republican nominee for Floridas 15th congressional district, it will weaken the President. Specifically, Ross Spano is weakened by an active DOJ investigation against him. He has not shown the ability to gather the political support or resources necessary to win a competitive election in a swing state, one source close to Gaetz said.
Spano was first elected to the GOP-leaning district during the midterm election cycle.
The primary is set to take place on August 18.
He’s my Congress critter....................
You might be interested in this from last night:
Of course, we know that campaign finance violations have no consequences . . . so long as you put a “D” in front of your name. There must be more to the story than this.
We MUST start replacing the Bush League Republicans.
Ross Spanos is good (he was my state senator), however I’m supporting Franklin. I doubt that a Dem will flip the seat...
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.