Matt Gaetz has been a lifelong advocate for Northwest Florida, having grown up in Okaloosa County. He currently represents Florida’s 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The son of Don and Vicky Gaetz, Matt grew up in Northwest Florida — graduating from Bluewater Elementary School, Ruckel Middle School and Niceville High School. After earning his Bachelor’s degree at Florida State University, Matt went on to graduate from the William & Mary Law School.
In the courtroom, Matt was known as “the tax killer” for blocking a local pet tax. Matt has also received national recognition for his legal work to fight corruption and demand transparency in government. Many know Matt from his work in the courtroom in support of the Eglin AFB F-35 beddown.
In 2010, Matt was elected to the Florida House of Representatives, where he fought to uphold our Northwest Florida conservative values, even when it meant going against his own party do to what was best for his constituents. Matt led the effort to make Stand Your Ground even stronger, and sponsored and passed legislation creating a 50-year mandatory prison sentence for those who rape children, seniors, or the disabled. Matt’s “Timely Justice Act” streamlined frivolous death penalty appeals and tripled the rate of executions in the months after its passage.
At the same time Matt was enacting meaningful conservative reform in Florida State House, he was growing sick of the ineptitude of Washington and the poor choices of our federal government. That’s why Matt decided to run for Congress, joining then-candidate Donald Trump’s call to Make America Great Again. Now, Matt fights alongside President Trump in Washington to protect the values that make this nation great.
During his first term in Congress, Matt helped pass the landmark Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which provided a much-deserved tax cut to millions of American families and businesses. Matt is also leading the fight to expose corruption in the FBI, the Justice Department, and the Clinton Foundation, regularly appearing on cable news to bring accountability to our government and defend the Trump administration.
Matt has been a tireless defender of President Trump and his vision for the United States. He has earned nicknames such as the “Trumpiest Congressman in Trump’s Washington” by GQ magazine and “the Trumpiest Congressman” by Rollin Stone, which he considers badges of honor.
Matt has authored key pieces of legislation on foreign policy, veterans’ health care, immigration, climate change, and more during his nearly four years in office. In 2019, Matt introduced the “Green Real Deal,” a plan to address climate change by harnessing the power of free markets, embracing technological innovation and entrepreneurship, and cutting excessive governmental red tape. In 2020, he introduced the “PANDEMIC Act,” which mandates the deportation of all illegal aliens held in the United States when a national emergency related to a communicable disease is declared, and in 2020 he authored the “Ainsworth Act,” which allows centenarian military veterans to qualify for full pension benefits from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs regardless of their net worth.
Matt Gaetz understands the values important to our Northwest Florida Community, and he’s committed to fighting for us.
Matt resides in Fort Walton Beach and is a member of the First Baptist Church of Fort Walton Beach. He has one son, Nestor, and Matt has described raising him as “the most rewarding thing I’ve done in my life.”