Vern Buchanan supports Byron Donalds, not Jim Jordan, for House Speaker
Buchanan in "The Roadmap"

Vern Buchanan
The Longboat Key Republican said Florida deserves a seat in leadership.

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, a day after voting for U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan for Speaker, switched his vote on the second ballot.

The Longboat Key Republican signaled deep frustration with the continuing leadership struggle in the House. He also hinted at a frustration that has lingered about Florida’s influence in the Congress as he backed Donalds, a Naples Republican.

“We’re going to have to solve this race quickly,” Buchanan said in a statement to Florida Politics. “I’ve served with Byron, he’s a conservative champion, and I hope my colleagues will consider his name as we look for a way forward. It’s about time Florida had a seat at the table.”

Donalds has been put up as an alternative choice for Speaker before, by U.S. Rep. Chip Roy of Texas during a protracted leadership fight in January. At the time, the move put Donalds in a key negotiating position with U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who ultimately won on a 15th ballot after numerous rules concessions.

Buchanan’s support for Donalds also seemed to contain some geographic resentment from the last leadership fight. When the new Congress began, Buchanan appeared on track to become Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, but the GOP Steering Committee instead elected U.S. Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri.

That left Florida with no major Chairmanships in the new Congress despite Florida Republicans holding 20 seats in the 217-member GOP conference. Notably, Buchanan serves as Republican Co-Chair of Florida’s congressional delegation.

Buchanan openly blamed McCarthy for whipping votes against him for the Ways and Means post.

After McCarthy’s ouster, following a motion by U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Fort Walton Beach Republican, Buchanan supported elevating Majority Leader Steve Scalise to Speaker. Scalise won a conference vote last week, but dropped out of the running. Buchanan initially said he would still support Scalise on the floor, objecting to the messy process. But he relented after personally lobbying by Jordan.

Notably, Donalds endorsed Jordan and voted for him on the second ballot.

It’s unclear what happens in the leadership fight now, but on the second ballot, Jordan already lost enough Republican votes he cannot win a majority. U.S. Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart, a Hialeah Republican, voted for Scalise while U.S. Rep. Carlose Giménez, a Miami-Dade Republican, supported reinstating McCarthy.

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].


  • Jo

    October 18, 2023 at 7:50 pm

    Vern what the hell are you thinking??? Get the house speaker elected ASAP. Jim Jordan may not have everything you want BUT he has offered to try to do the job. I do like representative Donaldson BUT he has NOT indicated that he wants the job. I personally think he needs a little more time on the job before attempting the speakers position. Give Jim Jordan your vote. and BTW I am a voter from your district.

  • David Grunfeld

    October 19, 2023 at 9:43 am

    Congressman Buchanan,

    I am a conservative Republican voter in your district. I am very upset that you have chosen to add to the dysfunctional status of Congress. This is not what I expected when I voted for you. I understand why Congressman Gaetz started this fiasco, and agree that McCarthy should never have been elected speaker, but the timing is a disaster. Steve Scalice was an acceptable choice for speaker, but that option has come and gone; a damn shame. Jim Jordan is the current qualified leader Congress should elect to speaker today, or had it over to Democrats, because Republicans are too disfunctional to control the House. I demand that the 22 RINOs get your act together or get the hell out!

  • Patty

    October 19, 2023 at 9:53 am

    You are a huge disappointment and shoyjd also be removed for NOT representing the people!! You forgot who you work for!! Have you been bribed by the Democrats?? We want to see your bank accounts because you’ve become the enemy of the people!! Do the right thing or step aside!!!!

  • wendy

    October 19, 2023 at 3:15 pm

    vern–you’ve been a considered and thoughtful representative for a long time and i’ve respected you. but voting for byron donald is a pyrric victory–only for you and not for your country. please reconsider–jim jordan deserves your vote.

  • James Gardner

    October 19, 2023 at 10:51 pm

    Vern: I have voted for you in the last 5 elections. No more, you need to be pushed out to pasture. You voted for Byron Donalds? Great guy and one day he may be a great speaker. But Byron is voting for Jim Jordan just like the rest of the real conservatives. Your a sellout Vern and we will make you regret turning on your voting base. Talk is cheap when your running for election. but walking the talk is what makes a real leader. Vern swamp creature.

  • jerry mann

    October 20, 2023 at 5:49 am

    Have you lost your mind?
    Stop playing games…

  • Harald C Peters

    October 20, 2023 at 8:30 am

    Please change your vote to Jim Jordan. He is the right man for the job. If you do not vote for Jim Jordan, I will not vote for you if and when YOU run again.

  • Jerry J

    October 20, 2023 at 11:55 am

    I am very disappointed with your. You are contributing to the disfunction of the Republicans by not representing your constituents. Now, however, is the time for YOU to make a choice. Will it be Supremacy, Survival or Sayonara? The choice is yours… but it will be mine at the next election. Get your act together and elect a qualified speaker, not one our your unqualified cronies. We need leadership NOT petty politics!

  • Darian B Taylor

    October 20, 2023 at 3:25 pm

    Congressman Buchanan, Again, you show that you are petty in note voting for Jordan. This about your designs on the Chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee, isn’t it? No thought for actually getting a conservative speaker to help guide policies in the direction of fiscal responsibility. It’s all about you, Vern. All about you.

  • David Grunfeld

    October 20, 2023 at 4:21 pm

    Vern Buchanan does not deserve to be in charge of his seat in the House of Representatives let alone a leadership role. His childish tantrums expose his corrupt nature for power at any cost. We need an alternative Republican to vote for, or we have to face the decision to not vote for our Representative, or vote for the Democrat alternative. I am also done with voting for a Republican running for Manatee County Commissioner after they blew off the residents in favor of letting a developer destroy our wetlands in order to squeeze in a few more houses. That smells from corruption at its core.

  • rick whitaker

    October 20, 2023 at 8:48 pm


Comments are closed.


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