Byron Donalds running for House Speaker
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 11/21/22-Newly elected members of the Florida Congressional delegation Laurel Lee, left, and Byron Donalds are recognized during Organizational Session, Tuesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

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He faces Minority Whip Tom Emmer as the conference moves beyond Jim Jordan.

After U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan lost three votes for Speaker, U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds is running to be the Republican conference nominee.

Aides for the Naples Republican confirmed to Florida Politics he will seek the support in a closed-door GOP conference vote. Meanwhile, Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman reports he will face Majority Whip Tom Emmer and U.S. Reps. Austin Scott of Georgia, Jack Bergman of Michigan, Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, Mike Johnson of Louisiana and Mark Green of Tennessee.

A vote could take place as soon as Monday.

Donalds is among the nominees who can claim he earned votes both in the Speaker’s ballots this week and over the protracted Speaker fight in January.

Most recently, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Sarasota Republican, backed Donalds on the second and third ballots this week.

“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.”

Buchanan had reluctantly supported Jordan on a first floor vote despite previously backing Majority Leader Steve Scalise. But when Jordan failed to win the gavel, Buchanan shifted away and backed Donalds.

U.S. Rep. Cory Mills is also endorsing Donalds as Speaker.

“I supported (Jim Jordan) for our next Speaker. Unfortunately my votes for him on the floor and in conference to remain Speaker designate was not enough. I now support (Byron Donalds) for the next Speaker of the House,” Mills wrote on X.

Notably, Donalds supported Jordan on all three ballots this week. In January, he had initially supported Kevin McCarthy, but bailed after a couple ballots and after U.S. Rep. Chip Roy of Texas suggested Donalds would make a better Speaker. That put Donalds in a position to negotiate rules concessions with McCarthy before ultimately supporting the California Republican when he won on a 15th ballot.

Earlier, Donalds made a run for GOP Conference Leader against incumbent Elise Stefanik of New York, a bold move for a Representative just elected to a second term. Stefanik won the vote in November on a 144-74 conference decision, but Donalds had made his name and ambitions known to members.

Now Florida lawmakers see Donalds as a strong choice for Speaker.

“Byron Donalds seems to be one of the best to be positioned as a consensus pick for Speaker,” Christian Ziegler, Republican Party of Florida Chair, posted on X. “There are many reasons for this, so hopefully he will run for it. Let’s give the people a Conservative they will be happy with vs. an unknown/boring pick for D.C.-insider reasons.”

Emmer likely heads into a vote with perceived edge as a member of leadership now. Donalds earlier this week suggested it may be time to look outside existing leadership considering the chaos of the past few weeks.

Donalds also is a close ally of former President Donald Trump, the current front-runner for the GOP nomination for President in 2024.

Donalds would be the first Black Speaker of the House in U.S. history, and he’s one of just a few Black Republicans serving in the House. He would also be the first Florida lawmaker to win election as Speaker.

Notably, an election to Speaker would reverberate in Florida, where Donalds is widely expected to run for Governor in 2026.

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].


11 comments

  • PeterH

    October 20, 2023 at 4:27 pm

    Byron Donalds is yet another Trump – MAGA House Republican. If he’s actually nominated….. it’s another week of the MAGA circus! Just say no to incompetence!

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  • Earl Pitts "Whos Your Daddy" American

    October 20, 2023 at 5:03 pm

    Good afternoon America,
    Smooth move as about 86.237% of all Dook 4 Brains White RINO’s and White LEFTY’s in the House will be shaking in their shiney shoes to speak out badly against Donalds and not vote for him as the voting is totally transparant.
    BUT WHY’s THAT EARL?
    Well my new students Donalds is a Black man in case you did not take notice.
    BUT WHAT ABOUT ALL THE CONSERVATIVE WHITE PATRIOTS EARL?
    Donalds checks all the conservative boxes and the true Patriots do not vote based on Race, Color, Creed, or National Origen like the Dook 4 Brains RINO’s and LEFTY’s do.
    WHAT ELSE SHOULD WE KNOW EARL?
    TWO THINGS:
    1.) Donalds will be a true glass ceiling breaker. Never before has a Black man held the esteamed position of Speaker of The House.
    2.) And yes I, Earl Pitts American, signed on as his campaign manager for 2028 about 25 minutes ago
    IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE EARL?
    I’m glad you asked:
    It’s going to be very interesting and entertaining and a true portent total reveal of a politician or celeberty’s character to watch who speaks out against Donalds. Also keep an eye on the Race Hustlers such as The Right Reverend Al Sharpton, celeberty attorney Ben Crump, Labron James, the almost irrelevant “(uck” Will Smith, Jessie? no in case you havent noticed you have not heard from Jessie in at least 5 years (hey he’s old … OK? ). And there are other clowns to watch: The Squad, The View, Mornting Joe, ect ….
    My advice is to (of course) relax your sphincters and sit back and laugh at all the “Usual Fools” as they entertain us Patriots with their hate and bigotry.
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts American

    • rick whitaker

      October 20, 2023 at 8:38 pm

      WARNING ⚠ TROLL COMMENT BY SHITS

    • Letty

      October 22, 2023 at 1:47 pm

      ditto

  • Mike claypool

    October 20, 2023 at 7:28 pm

    Who ever votes against him is a RACIST! Including democrats

  • Alex Z

    October 20, 2023 at 9:41 pm

    i’m a republican constituent of Byron Donalds and I’m against his bid for Speakership. Byrons is part of the dysfunction in Congress, and he’s not a far choice from Jim jordan. DOn’t support Donalds, just in the past month, he has failed in spending cuts, spinelessly absconded his vote from Stopgap, and has backwards foreign policy, refusing to support Ukraine but supporting Israel. He makes zero sense. No support for Donalds

  • Sonja Fitch

    October 21, 2023 at 6:08 am

    Republicans pick a moderate! Yeah KEVIN MCCARTHY! A House Divided ain’t leadership!

  • Michael K

    October 21, 2023 at 9:14 am

    One would hope that Republicans get someone who can count and work across the aisle. The Republican margin is too thin to allow the radical right-wing extremists to call the shots. It would also be helpful to find someone who has the best interests of the American people at heart – not personal ambition and MAGA politics of obstruction and revenge.

    Of course, without a party platform, it’s a freak show free-for-all circus of cannibals, as we’re seeing over and over again.

  • unsavedheathen

    October 21, 2023 at 9:26 am

    Why?

    Donalds has served a total of one complete term in the House.
    His most notable acts in Congress are negotiating the terms that allowed McCarthy to be taken down by the Chaos Caucus and submitting falsified documents as evidence in the GQP “impeachment inquiry”.
    At age 22, he pleaded no contest to bank fraud charges.

    This is who Republicans want to lead them and be be second in line of presidential succession. Why this unqualified grifter?

  • rick whitaker

    October 22, 2023 at 6:49 pm

    hakeem jeffries would make a great speaker, why don’t they nominate him. the maga cult people should be disqualified for being in the maga cult.

Comments are closed.


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