Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has privately told confidants he's seriously considering not seeking re-election and possibly leaving Congress early for a job at Newsmax, three sources with direct knowledge of the talks tell Axios.
Why it matters: Gaetz is a provocative figure on the right who's attracted attention by being a fierce defender of former President Trump. The Republican also represents a politically potent district on the Florida panhandle.
What we’re hearing: Gaetz has told some of his allies he’s interested in becoming a media personality, and floated taking a role at Newsmax.
- One of the sources said Gaetz has had early conversations with the network about what a position could look like.
The backdrop: Many Republicans turned to the network after Fox News called Arizona early for President Biden.
- Some critics now say Fox is not conservative enough for their tastes, providing an opening for Newsmax and the One America News Network (OANN).
- Gaetz has previously toyed with the idea of running for higher office.
Between the lines: Gaetz, 38, went to Florida State University and received a law degree from the College of William and Mary. He served in the Florida House before being elected to Congress in 2016.
- While the party out of power tends to gain seats in midterm elections — creating the possibility of Republicans' taking control of the House in 2022 — a prominent spot in the media could give Gaetz a platform for a future national political role.
- Fox executives and personalities were among Trump's many senior advisers, including Bill Shine, John Bolton and Larry Kudlow.
- Trump has stoked speculation he may seek a second and final term in 2024.