The former data analyst for the Florida Department of Health announced late Monday evening that she will run against embattled Rep. Matt Gaetz (R) in the 2022 midterm election.
Forrest Saunders of ABC 27 asked Rebekah Jones how seriously she was taking the prospect of facing Gaetz next year:
So here’s a new twist in tonight’s Rebekah Jones suspension saga— she says she’s running for Rep. @mattgaetz seat. Statement below. When asked how seriously she is taking this— her response: “Taking a human sex trafficker out of Congress? Very interested.” pic.twitter.com/gHVXQue1nv
— Forrest Saunders (@FBSaunders) June 8, 2021
You may recall that Jones was fired by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) because she dared to speak to the news media about the COVID outbreak in the Sunshine State:
“Jones had raised questions about Florida’s COVID-19 data after being ousted as the data’s curator. State officials said she was fired for insubordination after being reprimanded several times, according to state records.”
A week ago, Jones was granted whistleblower status by Inspector General Michael Bennett, who noted that Jones had demonstrated “reasonable cause to suspect that an employee or agent of an agency or independent contractor has violated any federal, state or local law, rule or regulation.”
DeSantis is also facing an uncertain reelection bid next year. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried announced last week that she will challenge the incumbent:
“At every turn I’ve seen a system that was rigged and works against the people,” she said. “It’s time to break that system. After two decades of Republican governors it’s time to try something new.”
Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) has also said that he will run for the Democratic nomination to face DeSantis next November. And Sen. Annette Taddeo (D) of Miami hinted that she is also considering a run to be the next governor.
If DeSantis does wind up getting a second term in office, it may be a short-lived gig, as he’s reportedly interested in running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. He has also been mentioned as a possible VP pick for former President Donald Trump if Trump runs again.
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