Byron Donalds backs Berny Jacques for HD 59

Donalds, a Naples Republican, was first elected to Congress in 2020.

U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds is endorsing Berny Jacques for the House District 59 Republican nomination.

Donalds, a Naples Republican, was first elected to Congress in 2020. The businessman serves Florida’s 19th Congressional District, which covers the bulk of Southwest Florida including Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Estero and Naples.

“We need Conservatives like Berny Jacques representing us in the Florida House,” Donalds said in a statement. “Berny will fight for our 2nd Amendment, defend the unborn and will stand up for our American values against the woke left. I strongly endorse Berny Jacques because he is a conservative we can trust to deliver results for Florida.”

Jacques adds Donalds’ endorsement to a growing list, having so far gathered endorsements from the Seminole Professional Firefighters Association, Pinellas County Commissioner Kathleen Peters, former Rep. Larry Ahern, and Seminole Mayor Leslie Waters.

“Congressman Donalds is a conservative champion who knows what it takes to deliver results in the State House and in Congress,” Jacques said in a statement. “It is an honor to have his support and you can guarantee I’ll take our shared conservative values to the State House.”

Jacques leads the HD 59 field in fundraising, amassing $165,995 since launching his campaign. The former prosecutor and former analyst for Bay News 9 faces Dipak Dinanath Nadkarni and Jennifer Wilson for the Republican nomination.

The three candidates are running to replace Nick DiCeglie in the House. The newly drawn House District 59 is located in Pinellas County and includes Largo, Seminole, parts of Pinellas Park and some of unincorporated Pinellas County.

Seminole City Council member Chris Burke withdrew from the HD 59 race just a few days after announcing his campaign. Burke is also not the first Republican to drop out of the race. Former candidate Alen Tomczak announced in early March that he ended his campaign after being called to active duty with the Florida National Guard.

As an active member of the Florida National Guard, Tomczak will be deployed overseas beginning in May.

DiCeglie has endorsed Wilson as his preferred successor.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704