Joe Davidow says he’s telling ‘truth’ about Byron Donalds in HD 80 race

Joe Davidow Byron Donalds

A Southwest Florida state House race is about to get even more negative.

A new website — called — launched this week to inform voters about Byron Donalds’ criminal record. According to the disclaimer at the bottom of the page, the website is a “political advertisement paid for and approved by” Joe Davidow, who is running against Donalds in House District 80.

“Someone has got to say something. We didn’t have a choice,” said Davidow, a Naples Republican.  “It’s not mudslinging. This is a fact. The voters have a right to know about it. I would be concerned if I was a voter.”

Donalds was arrested in 1997 for possession of marijuana. The case was put into pre-trial diversion, and Leon County court records show he paid a $150 fee. He plead no contest to bribery in 2000 and served two years of probation. Those records were sealed, Donalds told a FOX 4 reporter in 2014.

“If I had that on my background, I couldn’t be licensed to be an attorney,” said Davidow, a trial attorney.

The information first came to light in 2014, when Donalds was appointed to the board of trustees of what is now Florida SouthWestern State College. Donalds’ confirmation was initially held up in the Florida Senate, but he was confirmed in the final days of the 2014 legislative session.

Davidow said Donalds falsified information on his confirmation questionnaire, responding “no” to a question about whether he had ever been “arrested, charged, or indicted” of federal, state, or local law. By not disclosing the incidents, Davidow said Donalds lied under oath about his record.

Donalds said he was “thoroughly looked at” when he applied, and he was “still appointed and confirmed” by the governor and the Florida Senate.

“My opponent is obviously desperate. He knows he’s losing and this is what happens,” said Donalds, also a Naples Republican. “I’ve never been proud of the mistakes I’ve made when I was a young kid. It was 20 years ago. I’ve changed my life and moved on.”

Both men are vying to replace Matt Hudson in the Florida House. The race is already a bit heated. Earlier this month, NBC-2 reported a supporter of Davidow and House District 106 candidate Lavigne Kirkpatrick filed election fraud complaints after write-in candidates closed the two races.

Davidow said he hopes the website will be an “anchor page for people to go to” to be informed. He said doesn’t consider the site negative advertising, saying his campaign is inviting “voters to become informed.”

“I don’t know what kind of perverse world we live in where telling the truth is a negative,” he said.

Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster


  • Kris

    July 21, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    “Young kid”?!? A four year old is a young kid, not a man in his 20s. BRIBERY?!? Is this true? Bribery is the WORST CRIME a candidate for office could have, worse than murder! You can use the office to murder but you sure can to accept bribes! I was voting for Donalds but how can I vote for someone who served a sentence for bribery?!? Is this proven true? I can’t believe it

    • Kris

      July 21, 2016 at 9:36 pm

      ***CANT use it to murder, but you can to accept bribes

  • BeverlyNovark

    July 22, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Just another sleazy lawyer. Davidow should not be considered for this position!!!

    • Kris

      July 23, 2016 at 12:00 am

      Yeah, those awful lawyers always trying to enforce the law just because they took some oath that they would..Davidow should just disrespect the oath he took as an attorney just like Donalds seems to have no regard for being under oath on his application. It appears that Donalds has broken the law many times by his own admission. Like the CatLady posted above, he said onstage in front of everyone in 2012 he never been arrested. He wrote it on his trustee application. If it wasn’t for “sleazy lawyers” then none of us would know he was a criminal drug distributor and pled to BRIBERY and lied and lied about it. I don’t know much about Davidow but as long as his criminal record is free of bribes I will HAVE to vote for him! If we knew what Trey Radel was up to BEFORE I voted for him we could have saved a lot of embarrassment. So we now know about Donalds’ record and here’s a chance for Florida not to be the nation’s punchline again. Like Davidow said “what kind of world do we live in” if disclosing a candidate’s criminal record is “sleazy”?!? I’m disappointed in Byron Donalds but I am glad to be informed. Some people would rather bury their head in the sand and send a felon to the Capitol.
      “You get the government you deserve”

  • shari

    July 23, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    Nothing sleezy about Joe Davidow. And by the way I had most of this information about Donalds during the Congressional run in 2012, and chose not to use it. Its all true. Yes he’s turned his life around, as far as the Bribery and Drugs are concerned, but the lying on legal documents and to voters, thats very recent. I’m saying now, I did support Trey Radel in the 2012 race, but I had no inkling of his Drug addiction, if someone had told me I would have run not walked to the nearest exit. I’m saying now, no one, absolutely no one with a Drug History should run for Public Office. I don’t care how many Come to Jesus moments you’ve had, you have no business running for Public Office. I do not want Byron Donald as my State Representative, He does not have what it takes to replace Matt Hudson. I started out liking the Donalds, yes I did, that is until I started learning about all the things in his background he chose to hide. I was vilified for even using the fact I was hurt by him not telling us some of the minor things he hid. And using the fact he was brought up by a single mother, does not excuse his behavior. I was brought up in Foster Care and all that it implies. My entire life has been about helping others less fortunate than me. my entire life, not just the past 5 years. My 20 years n Collier County have been about getting the best people elected to Office, not me. Not about me. If you want any further information PM me. And yes I will be voting for Joe. I met him during the Congressional race, and liked everything I heard and saw. The Same for Chauncey Goss, now running for CD-19, although I cannot vote for him, I am supporting him. I’ve known Chauncey for years and greatly admire him, like I said, if anyone had informed me about Trey Radel, I would have run,not walked. I would have gone over to Chauncey Goss’s campaign, and he would have won.

    • Kris

      July 26, 2016 at 3:11 am

      Where do I PM you, Shari?
      And if you didn’t notice, the rap sheet on has grown longer. Now evidence of FEDERAL CRIMES are posted.
      This is ridiculous that it’s not the top story on every news broadcast! I don’t get it

  • Antonetta Rodi

    July 24, 2016 at 11:37 am

    I too have heard of this misleading events that have happened in Mr. Donald’s life, but I know Joe Davidow personally and he is as honest, hard working, there for the people as you get!. It is a rare find to have someone like Joe Davidow run to help us out in Florida

    • Kathy R

      July 31, 2016 at 10:38 am

      I find this info on Byron very upsetting. Wish it wasn’t true . Can somebody prove it wrong? I hope it doesn’t hurt his wife’s career. Also I think Trey Radel deserves another chance.

      • Kathy

        July 31, 2016 at 10:43 am

        I find this info on Byron very upsetting. Can someone prove it not true? Hope this doesn’t damage his wife’s career. Also I think Trey Radel deserves a second chance at a radio talk show host career.

Comments are closed.


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