Republican Primary Sees Last-Minute Challenger Against Matt Gaetz



Retired Navy officer Aaron Dimmock has entered the Republican primary to challenge Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida. His campaign committee shares a treasurer with the American Patriots PAC, a group previously used by former Speaker Kevin McCarthy to support aligned candidates. Gaetz, upon learning about Dimmock’s entry, criticized him on social media for supporting racial diversity and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Aaron Dimmock Joins Republican Primary to Challenge Matt Gaetz

A retired Navy officer and aviator, Aaron Dimmock, has announced his candidacy in the Republican primary against Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida. This announcement came just hours before the filing deadline last Friday.

Dimmock’s campaign committee shares a treasurer with the American Patriots PAC, a political group previously utilized by former Speaker Kevin McCarthy to back candidates in alignment with his political views during the 2022 midterms. Interestingly, Gaetz was instrumental in the revolt among House Republicans that led to McCarthy’s eventual ousting from the speakership.

No comments have been forthcoming from either Dimmock or representatives of American Patriots PAC. The primary for the First Congressional District, covering Pensacola and the western Florida Panhandle, is scheduled for Aug. 20.

Dimmock’s Military Background

Dimmock, an alumnus of the United States Naval Academy, served as a pilot for the Navy’s P-3 surveillance plane. In a 2020 interview with the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association, he talked about his deployments to Bosnia, Kosovo, and several tours in the Middle East. He disclosed his role in surveillance missions over New York City post-9/11 and his later roles as an instructor pilot, a recruiting officer, and finally, a Navy liaison in the Pentagon.

Gaetz Fires Back

Gaetz was swift to challenge Dimmock on social media, highlighting LinkedIn posts that Dimmock made in 2020 advocating racial diversity and support for the Black Lives Matter movement after the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Gaetz labelled Dimmock as a “BLM-supporting DEI instructor” and accused former Representative McCarthy of backing a “Woke Toby Flenderson” against him in the Republican primary.

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