Kevin McCarthy Sees Opportunity as Challenger Enters Race Against Gaetz

Former California Rep. Kevin McCarthy could have the opportunity to get back at Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) in the GOP primary for the 2024 election. Aaron Dimmock, a former naval officer and leadership programs director, has recently filed to challenge Gaetz in the primary. This move could be seen as a win for McCarthy and his supporters, who have criticized Gaetz for leading the push to remove McCarthy from his position last fall. 


Many have viewed the infighting within the Republican party as stemming from the actions of Gaetz and the seven other House GOP members who joined Democrats in ousting McCarthy. McCarthy has called the House GOP conference “broken” and blamed Gaetz for the party’s disarray. He has accused Gaetz of causing division within the party and weakening their position in Congress.

Elections analyst Dave Wasserman has noted that Dimmock’s entry into the race presents a significant challenge for Gaetz and could make the primary race a “race to watch.” However, Gaetz has a history of defeating his challengers and has strong support from former President Donald Trump, who endorsed him in the 2022 election.

Despite facing severe backlash from fellow Republicans for his actions, including accusations of sexual misconduct and an ongoing investigation by the House Ethics Committee, Gaetz remains a formidable opponent with strong name recognition and a history of fundraising success. Dimmock will face an uphill battle in trying to unseat Gaetz in the primary.

On a separate note, the special election to fill McCarthy’s former seat is heading to a runoff between California Republican Assemblyman Vince Fong and Republican Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux. It remains to be seen if McCarthy will offer support or funding to Dimmock’s campaign against Gaetz in the primary.

Written by Staff Reports

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