Meet Matt Gaetz

Matt Gaetz has been a lifelong advocate for Northwest Florida, having grown up in Okaloosa County. He is currently an attorney in Fort Walton Beach and has been a Constitutional conservative champion in the state legislature.

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 Bachelors 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.

As Chairman of the Criminal Justice Subcommittee, Matt was a friend to gun owners and a nightmare for criminals. When liberals like Michael Bloomberg and Jesse Jackson fought against gun owners and Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, Matt led the effort to make Stand Your Ground even stronger. Matt also 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.

While Chairman of the House Finance & Tax Committee, Matt led the House’s efforts to cut taxes by $1 billion over two years, with savings ranging from property tax relief to cuts to taxes paid on cell phone and cable bills.

Matt has also been a tireless advocate for our veterans, military personnel, and their families. Upon learning of a disturbing incident where ISIS used public records to publish the personal information of soldiers and their families, Matt immediately took action. He successfully sponsored legislation allowing service members and their families to have their personal identifying information removed from public records and led a campaign to raise awareness of the new law among the military community.

Known as one of the most skilled advocates in the Florida Legislature, Gaetz has been referred to as a “Conservative Firebrand” by Saintpetersblog.com and “One of the most pro-gun members to have ever served in the Florida Legislature” by Marion Hammer, past President of the NRA. Gaetz has received top legislative honors from the Florida Sheriffs Association, Florida Police Chiefs Association and Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association. The American Conservative Union deemed Matt Gaetz the “Defender of Liberty.”

Matt resides in Fort Walton Beach and is a member of the First Baptist Church of Fort Walton Beach. Matt is a Lifetime Member of the National Rifle Association.