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Gaetz and DeSantis: A friendship that may become a liability

FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2018, file photo, Florida Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis, second from left, thanks supporters with his wife, Casey, left, Lt. Gov.-elect Jeanette Nunez, center; her husband, Adrian Nunez, second from right, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., after being declared the winner of the Florida gubernatorial race at an election party in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The investigation into Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz threatens to become a liability for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as he runs for reelection ahead of a possible presidential bid in 2024.

There is no indication that DeSantis is tied to the federal probe of Gaetz, who is now embroiled in a federal sex trafficking investigation. But Gaetz was a key ally for DeSantis during his 2018 gubernatorial run and appeared at campaign events alongside him.

People familiar with the pair’s relationship describe a friendship of political convenience between two young, ambitious Republicans that changed as DeSantis became a more seasoned political player.

A DeSantis spokesperson has declined to comment on the Gaetz investigation.

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