The scandal upending Matt Gaetz’s meteoric rise has spooked some bigwig supporters into looking beyond the Florida Republican, fearing allegations that he paid for sex could prove insurmountable, according to multiple sources.
A group of Florida elected officials, donors, strategists, and one former official took stock of Gaetz’s political future Thursday and didn’t like what they saw — even as the embattled lawmaker a day later refused to step down. If he is forced to resign, his western Panhandle seat in Florida’s 1st Congressional District would go to a special election.
“They’re making the assessment that it’s going to be very difficult for Matt to come out of this,” said a source familiar with the discussion. “They love the guy, and they’ve been there for him. And they’re shaking their heads going, ‘Ugh.’”
Just how long the congressman can weather the increasingly lurid tales remains a subject of backroom speculation in the state capital of Tallahassee