When Matt Gaetz came to Washington last year, he could easily have been mistaken for the typical freshman member of Congress. The Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call ran a short profile of him under the headline “The Least Interesting (Fresh) Man in the House.”
But the Florida Republican proved to be anything but that.
Gaetz has made a name for himself in front of the television cameras by leading the charge against special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and by calling for new inquiries into Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration. He’s been willing to defend Trump with vigor and pal around with some of the most unsavory characters on the right, including white nationalists and conspiracy theorists.
Gaetz is the son of a wealthy and influential former Florida state senator. A native of Hollywood, Florida, just north of Miami, he studied at Florida State University before moving on to law school at William & Mary. After graduating in 2007, he spent a couple of years working as an attorney in Fort Walton Beach in the state’s Panhandle. Gaetz won a seat in the Florida house of representatives in 2010 and in 2016 ran for Florida’s 1st Congressional District—the most Republican district in the state. He won with 69 percent of the vote, promising to defend gun rights and push for fiscal responsibility.