Club For Growth backs Byron Donalds in CD 19

Byron Donalds
Finance background, school choice support played role in endorsement.

Club For Growth made its pick in a heated Republican primary for a Southwest Florida Congressional seat.

The free market advocacy group endorsed Naples Republican Byron Donalds, a state lawmaker and professional financial advisor.

“Byron Donalds is a constitutional conservative with invaluable experience in finance who has proven his pro-growth credentials during his time as a State Representative, and we are proud to endorse his campaign,” said Club for Growth PAC David McIntosh.

The right-leaning group has enjoyed growing influence in Washington, D.C. pushing an economically conservative message.

McIntosh said Donalds’ work in the statehouse advocating for free market conditions and deregulation attracted the group to his candidacy.

“Donalds has been a principled leader on key issues including cutting taxes, limiting spending and fighting to expand school choice, and we look forward to enthusiastically supporting his successful path to the House of Representatives,” McIntosh said.

It’s a critical endorsement considering Club For Growth’s record of success. The organization says it wins 85% of elections in which it participated in 2018.

That’s in part because participation doesn’t stop with a press release. Club For Growth officials spend just 8.9% of money on overhead for its political action committee, the National Review reports.

Donalds is one of 10 Republicans running in Florida’s 19th Congressional District to replace retiring Rep. Francis Rooney. That’s a heavily Republican district Rooney won in 2018 with more than 62% of the vote.

Donalds jumped into the election in January and quickly set himself apart as a major fundraiser. He pulled in $338,163 in the first quarter of 2018, immediately joining the top tier of candidates despite his late entry.

The state Representative is one of four elected officials running for the seat, along with fellow Reps. Dane Eagle and Heather Fitzenhagen and Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson.

He’s argued since entering the race he boasts the most conservative legislative record.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


One comment

  • Earl

    June 14, 2020 at 11:53 pm

    This is a BIG disappointment, Club For Growth! I admire you all but you did NOT do your homework on this endorsement! Byron Donalds has an EXTENSIVE CRIMINAL HISTORY that disqualifies him from serving in the US Congress! Donalds has many positives, tons of charisma, and SAYS all the right things. But Byron Donalds is also a ticking time bomb and, believe it or not, could put our district in play for Democrats should he win the primary before voters learn of the numerous felonies Donalds has been arrested for, some of which-such as FELONY BRIBERY CHARGES-Donalds pled “no contest” to!! BRIBERY!!! How he has a political career with FELONY BRIBERY in his background is a topic for another day, but the top reason is NOBODY KNOWS about Donalds’ past because much of it, including FELONY BRIBERY, was sealed. I don’t know why the media hasn’t held Donalds to account for that or OTHER ARRESTS such as DRUG DISTRIBUTION, IDENTITY THEFT, FRAUD-Byron Donalds’ rap sheet goes on and on and every arrest was for serious crimes with real victims(Donalds was ordered to make restitution in the aftermath of his Identity Theft bust).
    This WILL become an issue in the race-he is running for the big time now, and I think sooner, rather than later, his felonious past will become big news, and it will be curtains for Donalds- would YOU vote for someone who’d already pled to Bribery or was arrested for distribution of drugs??? Of course not. He will hemorrhage support and his political career will be done when GOP voters find out who Donalds is.
    I’ve respected CFG for decades-my uncle is mayor of a mid-size city & very good friends with Pat Toomey, & I’ve met others with CFG over the years besides Sen. Toomey & always kept an eye on who/what issue they have taken on, and almost always agree with them. They have saved us from having a quadrillion dollar debt and they aren’t fat cats expensing junkets to Vegas-the Club For Growth is one of the best at putting their money to work. But this mistake is a big one that, mark my words, they will come to regret when it’s headline news that Donalds is a FELON.

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