Byron Donalds drops out of nomination race for Speaker
Byron Donalds as Trump's VP? Could happen.

He came in third place behind Tom Emmer and Mike Johnson.

U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds has dropped out of the race to be the next Speaker of the House. The Naples Republican came in third place in four ballots during a GOP conference meeting before being eliminated.

He consistently came in behind House Majority Whip Tom Emmer and House Republican Vice Chair  Mike Johnson. Rather than going through a ballot with just three candidates, Donalds dropped out of the race.

The sophomore Congressman announced a run Friday after the conference dumped U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio as the nominee. While Donalds had supported Jordan, the Ohio Republican failed to secure a majority of the vote on the House floor over three ballots last week.

Donalds was one of nine candidates to announce a run for Speaker in the last week, with two dropping out before the conference vote began.

While Donalds only won his seat in the House in 2020, he has quickly gained prominence. That rose in January, when U.S. Rep. Chip Roy promoted Donalds as an alternative to U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy for Speaker within the Republican caucus.

As a result, Donalds played a key role in negotiating a rules package that ultimately garnered enough votes for McCarthy to become Speaker.

Donalds reportedly took criticism in a Speaker candidate forum Monday for asking for a Capitol office, which he did not procure. But the second-term Representative did secure himself a spot on the GOP Conference Committee, giving him a say on who fills every committee Chairmanship in the House.

McCarthy’s tenure as Speaker ended prematurely earlier this month after U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Fort Walton Beach Republican, motioned to vacate the Speaker’s Office. Eight Republicans joined with the entire Democratic caucus to oust McCarthy from the job.

As the only member of the Freedom Caucus running Tuesday, Donalds won support from key conservative voices in the conference, including U.S. Reps. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Chip Roy of Texas.

Donalds also had Florida lawmakers rallying behind him, with nearly half of state’s GOP Representatives openly supporting him ahead of the conference.

U.S. Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart, a Hialeah Republican, gave the nominating speech for Donalds in the conference meeting. U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Longboat Key Republican, actually voted for Donalds twice on the floor over Jordan. Donalds also boasted endorsements from U.S. Reps. Kat Cammack, Scott Franklin, Carlos Giménez, Cory Mills, John Rutherford and Michael Waltz.

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].


  • PeterH

    October 24, 2023 at 12:05 pm

    The last thing America needs as House Speaker is a loud mouth MAGA Trumpster. Byron Donald’s’ decision credibility should disqualify him from any elected office.

    • Jon Uba

      October 24, 2023 at 5:09 pm

      Joe Biden has morebrains that the idiot in your mirror

    • Barb Bonete

      October 24, 2023 at 5:51 pm

      Who asked you?


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  • Michael K

    October 24, 2023 at 12:29 pm

    Good. An insurrectionist and Congressional rookie has no place in House leadership.

    But I’m afraid the Republican party has zero interest in actually governing. Clowns like Gaetz think his performative stunts and Facebook posts are somehow benefitting the American people. They are not.

  • Alexandra Zakhvatayev

    October 24, 2023 at 1:51 pm


Comments are closed.


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