Matt Gaetz Wins Republican Nomination in Distict 4 Special Election

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Twenty-seven year old Matt Gaetz won the republican primaries for the District Four State House Seat yesterday by a 635 vote margin over his closest competitor, former Destin Mayor Craig Barker.
Butt Gaetz actually lost Okaloosa County to Barker.
The majority of Destin's voters were turned-away at the polls because they fall under the jurisdiction of District 7.
Matt Gaetz isn't slowing down after Tuesday's republican primary special election victory.
He's already campaigning for next month's general election.
"Well it's exciting. It's an exciting time to be a conservative right now. There's a lot that government needs to do to get smaller, smarter and more responsive and we intend to do that" says the republican nominee.
If elected, Matt Gaetz will join his father Senator Don Gaetz as the first father-son duo in the Florida legislature.
But Gaetz says it will be business as usual.
"To folks that think my dad and I agree on every issue I’d ask you to think what happens at your kitchen table. Do you ever get in arguments or discussions? Same thing happens in ours, and sometimes they get heated. My dad may support certain bills that I won't, but I think in the end, the value of having two people who share the same values will be felt in Northwest Florida and we're excited about the opportunity"
It was the opportunity former Destin Mayor Craig Barker was hoping to win.
And he may have, had the entire city of Destin been eligible to vote in Tuesday's primary.
A lot of his supporters were surprised when they showed up to vote and realized they weren't eligible.
In fact only two precincts in the entire city of Destin were able to vote in Tuesday's special election. That's a geographic area that only covers central and west Destin.
Rey Bailey is the Destin City Clerk and says city hall was a little hectic on Election Day.
“I guess a lot of them weren't aware that they don't belong to district four, and that only a small part of Destin is under district four" Bailey says.
He adds that the districts can get confusing.
“Looking at the map I think in some occasions we have situations in some subdivisions where if you live across the street you're in a different district so I think that further confuses people."
Gaetz received 42.5% of the total votes in Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties.
He says he is ready for the April 13th special general election against democratic candidate Jan Fernald.
The Governor scheduled the special election to fill the seat left vacant by former House Speaker Ray Sansom's resignation last month.



 
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