GOP Rep. May Give Up Seat In Florida, Run For SENATE To Defeat Dem Incumbent In Alabama

GOP Rep. May Give Up Seat In Florida, Run For SENATE To Defeat Dem Incumbent In Alabama

Doug Jones defeated Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race to replace then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, a staunch supporter of President Trump, is now considering taking action.

He may cross state lines to run for Senate against Jones.

How is that possible? A person only needs to be a resident of Alabama for a single day to run for office, apparently.

Here’s the scoop…

The rumor had been bouncing around the Capitol for weeks but took a more serious turn in recent days when Gaetz began privately discussing the idea with fellow lawmakers.

“He’s talking about running for Senate in Alabama. They have a one-day residency requirement there,” said a GOP lawmaker who knows Gaetz well. “POTUS [President of the United States] would probably endorse him.”

Sources close to Gaetz, 36, said that “people in Trump’s orbit” are personally encouraging the sophomore congressman to run for the Senate seat now held by freshman Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.). Those Trump allies are pointing to Alabama’s liberal requirement that people can run for the Senate so long as they are 30 years old and have been a resident for a minimum of one day.

Gaetz’s Florida district borders eastern Alabama. His hometown, Fort Walton Beach, Fla., is a mere hour-and-a-half drive from Mobile, Ala., the third-largest city in the state. That proximity and the demographic similarities between Gaetz’s current constituency and Republican voters in Alabama would make it easier for him to compete in a statewide Alabama race, said one of his Florida congressional colleagues.

“The Florida Panhandle is just like Mississippi and Alabama — it’s Trump country, and he’s probably got one of the best districts for Trump. Sometimes that’s all it takes,” explained the fellow GOP Florida congressman. “He can probably win.”

“I had a few people make mention to me that Alabama has a very short residency requirement but it’s not something I’ve looked at myself,” Gaetz told The Hill in an interview this week. “I think that my most likely path would be to seek reelection in the House.”

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill has now rebutted the latest in a long line of unsubstantiated claims by Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) regarding voter suppression, adding that Jones never would have been elected to office if his assertions were true.

Jones has made headlines over the last month as he tried to sell copies of his new book, with his most brazen claim being that Republicans “do not want African-Americans and other minorities to vote.”

He quickly doubled down on that initial eyebrow-raising statement and just last week asserted, “In the last few years we’ve seen a whole segment of our population that have had their voting rights restricted. It’s harder to get to the polls, it’s harder to vote, it’s harder to register.”

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