Meet the Hardcore Trump Republican Pushing Pot Reform’s Best Hope
Matt Gaetz is a conservative Republican’s conservative Republican.
Gaetz is a 34-year-old attorney who, while in the Florida legislature, pushed for accelerated executions and blocked any revision of the stand-your-ground law following Trayvon Martin’s shooting death. He now represents most of the Florida Panhandle in Congress.
Most of us would call those solid conservative bona fides “textbook reactionary,” but back at home in Gaetz’s First Congressional District, they’re local mores. His district is so solidly Republican, it’s an island of dark red floating in a less-red sea.
The district is the most conservative in Florida, with a plus-22 conservative rating from the Cook Partisan Voting Index—which may be off by double-digits. In November’s election, Gaetz defeated the Democratic challenger by nearly 40 percentage points.
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