Matt Gaetz has competition of Senate seat

Bay County Commissioner George Gainer has opened a campaign account to run for the seat that will be vacated next year by state Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, setting up a Republican primary fight with Gaetz’s son, Rep. Matt Gaetz.

“Today I filed my paperwork to run for the Florida Senate,” Gainer said in a Twitter post Tuesday. “NW Florida needs common sense leadership in the Senate.”

Gainer and Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, plan to run in Senate District 1, which includes Bay, Holmes, Jackson, Walton, Washington and part of Okaloosa counties. Don Gaetz has represented the area since 2006, including a two-year stint as Senate president.

Matt Gaetz has already raised $603,000 for his campaign account, including $23,000 in August, according to a filing on the state Division of Elections website. But Gainer has served on the Bay County Commission since 2002 and owns eight auto dealerships in North Florida, his campaign website says.

Source: The News Service of Florida