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2020

Rand Paul endorses Byron Donalds in CD 19

Kentucky senator weighed in as nine GOP candidates duke it out.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has endorsed Naples Republican Byron Donalds for an open House seat in Southwest Florida.

“Congress needs proven liberty-loving conservatives like Byron Donalds,” said Paul, a prominent voice among libertarian-leaning Republicans.

Donalds, a state lawmaker running in Florida’s 19th Congressional District, heralded the endorsement on Twitter.

“Honored to have the endorsement of such a prominent and persistent defender of our Constitution,” Donalds wrote. “I look forward to Sen. Rand Paul’s support in our campaign to send a proven Conservative to Congress. Together we will stand against the radical Left and defend our Republic.”

Donalds is one of nine Republicans running for the GOP nomination in hopes of succeeding retiring Rep. Francis Rooney.

This adds to a list of strong support from Washington conservative voices. He’s picked up the endorsements of Club for Growth, Americans For Prosperity and the National Rifle Association.

That’s been important in helping Donalds keep up with self-funders in the race. At the close of the second quarter, he substantially trailed businessman Casey Askar and physician William Figlesthaler in cash on hand, and also had less than fellow state lawmaker Dane Eagle.

But groups like Club For Growth have funded a number of media buys promoting Donalds to voters.

The only outside poll in the race, commissioned by Florida Politics, showed Donalds second in the field, behind Askar, but ahead of Eagle. Askar’s lead, however, was within the poll’s margin of error. Eagle has since released an internal poll showing him pulling ahead of the field, with Donalds in second.

The winner of the Republican nomination heads to the general election a heavy favorite. Rooney in 2018 won reelection with more than 62% of the vote over Democrat David Holden.

The race has become increasingly heated as the Aug. 18 primary draws near. Opponents have questioned Donalds’ loyalty to President Donald Trump, but Donalds said he strongly supports the Republican leader.

Written By

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 jacobogles@hotmail.com.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. S.B. Anthony

    July 31, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    Good reason to NOT vote for Donalds.

  2. Sonja Fitch

    July 31, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    Rand Paul gives shit about us in Florida !

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