Florida Republicans rally around Byron Donalds for House Speaker

Donalds AP photo
Vern Buchanan, Mario Díaz-Balart, Carlos Giménez, Cory Mills and Michael Waltz all back their fellow Floridian.

Whether U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds can convince a majority of House Republicans to back his bid for Speaker remains unclear. But he’s quickly lining up a broad range of Florida Republicans behind his candidacy.

U.S. Reps. Vern BuchananKat CammackMario Díaz-Balart, Carlos GiménezScott Franklin, Cory Mills and Michael Waltz all quickly rallied to Donalds. The endorsements come ahead of an expected closed-door candidate forum in Washington.

The latest endorsements came from Cammack, a Gainesville Republican, and  Franklin, a Lakeland Republican.

I am supporting my friend from Florida, Rep. Donalds, for Speaker,” said Franklin, whose district neighbors Donalds’. “He understands the issues facing our state and can unite our party to get Congress back to work.”

Cammack entered Congress the same year as Donalds and has remained a close ally.

“Since his election to Congress, Byron has been a true conservative champion for the Sunshine State and the nation,” she posted. “He is a fighter who listens to the American people. He has what it takes to get us back to work and continue the business we were sent here to do. While I have the upmost respect for all of my colleagues who have put their names forward, it is an honor to support my friend in his candidacy for House Speaker.”

They follow a range of Florida Republicans.

“I am proud to endorse my friend, fellow Floridian, and America First Republican Byron Donalds for Speaker of the House,” Giménez, a Miami-Dade Republican, posted on X. “Byron is the conservative leader we need to unite us as Republicans.”

Giménez in every ballot since the ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy has favored a different course. Over three floor votes when the GOP Conference put up House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan, Giménez held fast that the caucus should reinstate McCarthy as Speaker.

But after the GOP Conference on Friday voted to dump Jordan, nine candidates announced they would seek the caucus’ support, including Donalds. Having a fellow Sunshine State Republican in the mix, and one who, like Giménez, joined in the 2006 class, won the former Miami-Dade Mayor over.

Díaz-Balart supported elevating Majority Leader Steve Scalise to Speaker, though Scalise, like McCarthy, has not pursued the gavel after being snubbed by the caucus once this month. But Díaz-Balart, a Hialeah Republican, backed Donalds shortly after the Naples Republican announced he would run.

“Byron Donalds is an honorable leader and respected by the entire conference,” Díaz-Balart, the dean of Florida’s congressional delegation, posted. “That is why it is a privilege to endorse Byron for speaker.”

Both Díaz-Balart and Giménez fought Jordan’s nomination and were part of 20-plus protest votes against the Ohio Republican consistently last week. Mills endorsed Jordan early and backed him on every vote. However, Mills quickly endorsed Donalds after the end of Jordan’s candidacy.

“The American people need a Speaker who can unify our country, especially during time of great turmoil,” Mills posted. “Rep. Donalds is a strong legislator who hasn’t spent decades in the Swamp making back door deals. I believe he is the best candidate to bring our Republican Conference together and get the job done for the American people.”

Another Jordan backer now supporting Donalds is Waltz, a St. Augustine Beach Republican.

“Our country desperately needs leadership to hold (President Joe) Biden accountable and move our country forward,” Waltz posted. “Pleased to support fellow Floridian and conservative Byron Donalds for Speaker of the House. Let’s get back to work!”

And one member of the delegation has already voted for Donalds to be Speaker this month, even before Donalds declared his interest.

Buchanan, Republican Co-Chair of the Florida delegation, reluctantly voted for Jordan on a first ballot after endorsing Scalise for Speaker. But when Jordan failed to near a majority even with Scalise’s backing, Buchanan on two more ballots last week voted for Donalds.

“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.”

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].


  • Earl Pitts "Everybody's Daddy" American

    October 23, 2023 at 8:52 am

    Good mornting America,
    Byron is going to be an especially delicate situation-challange for the Dook 4 Brains Leftists here in Florida and Nation-Wide to assult with their typical hate-speach.
    I dont know if y’all noticed but Byron is NOT white and the typical “go-to” Dook 4 Brains leftist Hate-Speach will not be appropriate.
    Sure we will witness a few “Uncle Tom’s” and many leftys will still just go to their usual hate speach vocabulary, hit the enter key, and a 1/100th of a second later wish there was a “go-back-key on their keyboard.
    Listen up Dook 4 Brains Leftys, Earl likes some of you pudtz’s, and is tryin to help you keep from looking extra stupid.
    ***Be very carefull, my Son and wacky contrairian follow-up poster, Rick Whittaker, remember we have to keep up the illusion that you are on the “Dook 4 Brains Lefty’s Team”.***
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts “Warning Y’all – HE’S BLACK !!!” American

    • rick whitaker

      October 25, 2023 at 8:18 am


  • Ocean Joe

    October 23, 2023 at 11:16 am

    No insurrectionist should be speaker of the house.
    There are a lot of Republicans who put country over party and blind loyalty to Cheeto who could serve with honor.
    Jan 6 is one of the most disgraceful days in American history. Even Sidney Powell has finally figured it out.
    They broke the laws and almost broke our democracy all for one low life scumbag who continues to grift off the deplorables or empty vessels.

    Loving Trump, as Donald does, is inconsistent with loving America.

  • Joe

    October 23, 2023 at 11:40 am

    Everybody looking at Donalds as a future RepubliQan leader should go back and look at his criminal history: although these days, maybe that’s a plus in his party.

  • Harold Finch

    October 24, 2023 at 8:13 am

    Donald’s is a complete joke! We are in very big trouble with a totally dysfunctional Republicans in the House.

  • dipshierus

    October 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    TO the MORON who said “J6 is one of the most disgraceful days in history.” NO, the most disgraceful days in US history is when Cuomo and other US mayors allowed covid positive people to go into nursing homes that KILLED our most vulnerable US elderly and disabled nursing patients and when US mayors HELD BACK POLICE during BLM riots so that thes lawless scumbags could BURN LOOT AND ROB (AKA BLM) innocent people and nobody was arrested so F OFF with your phony selective rage and deal with reality.

    • rick whitaker

      October 25, 2023 at 8:17 am

      dipshit how can you tell people to deal with reality when your comment proves to a thinking person that you yourself don’t know what reality is. you seem to be a maga cultist, and they live in trump’s reality. that sounds like a comment from a dipshit.

Comments are closed.


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