Mike Johnson secures Speaker’s gavel with support of all Florida Republicans
U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson. Image via AP.

Mike Johnson
The Louisiana Republican beat out Naples Republican Byron Johnson for the job in conference.

In the U.S. House, the 19th time was the charm.

House members elected U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson, a Louisiana Republican. And for the first time during this Congress, all 20 Republicans representing Florida in the House voted in favor of the nominee.

Johnson emerged as the Republican nominee, beating out U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds of Naples. While Donalds rallied much of the Florida delegation during the intraparty battle, he endorsed Johnson ahead of a floor vote.

“My family and I are incredibly grateful for the prayers and support, especially over the last several days,” Donalds posted on X. “I am proud to vote for the gentleman from Louisiana, Speaker-designate Rep. Mike Johnson as the NEXT Speaker of the House. Let’s get to work.”

Johnson also captured the support of several members of the delegation who refused prior nominees.

Most notably, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Fort Walton Republican, was the only Florida Republican who refused to ever support former Speaker Kevin McCarthy over a protracted, 15-ballot leadership battle in January. Earlier this month, he led the first successful ouster of a sitting Speaker in U.S. history.

After McCarthy’s ouster, the GOP conference initially selected Majority Leader Steve Scalise. But when it appeared Scalise had not shored up enough support to win a floor vote, U.S. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, a St. Petersburg Republican, announced she would not support him.

When Scalise pulled his name from consideration, the conference nominated U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, founder of the House Freedom Caucus.

But the decision to move so quickly to Jordan — after Scalise beat Jordan in a conference vote — irritated Scalise allies including U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan, a Longboat Key Republican, Mario Díaz-Balart, a Hialeah Republican, and John Rutherford, a Jacksonville Republican. They all cast multiple votes against Jordan on the floor.

So did U.S. Rep. Carlos Giménez, who maintained for weeks the caucus should reinstate McCarthy after a wrongful ouster.

After Jordan lost three votes, the GOP Conference removed him as nominee.

That prompted a wider competition for the nomination, including Donalds. The conference, though, nominated Majority Whip Tom Emmer of Minnesota next.

But the selection of a moderate drew ire, including from South Florida’s Cuban American community and, more importantly, from former President Donald Trump. U.S. Reps. Cory Mills, a Winter Park Republican, and Greg Steube, a Sarasota Republican, both said they could not support Emmer on the floor. Ultimately, Emmer withdrew his candidacy as well.

But when the conference met late Tuesday, Johnson won and proved the consensus candidate for the conference.

He still proved a controversial candidate to some extent. Democrats, while nominating Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries for Speaker for a 19th time, raised Johnson’s role in leading an unsuccessful legal challenge to President Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in 2020. That prompted Luna to shout “damn right” from the floor, according to The Messenger’s Stephen Neukam.

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].


  • Michael K

    October 25, 2023 at 1:59 pm

    An LGBTQ hating election denier and Putin apologist. Perfect symbol of the cult of Trump.

  • CW

    October 25, 2023 at 2:24 pm

    So the GOP basically voted in a version of Jim Jordan that lacks the baggage of a molestation cover-up. Wonderful!

  • Earl Pitts "America's BIG VOICE on The Right" American

    October 25, 2023 at 2:30 pm

    Good afternoon America,
    If any of you were “Pure “D” Lucky enough” to read my clever rant this morning on the earlier Mike Johnson article you will want to thank me for scearing them straight.
    What happened is totally attribuatable to me.
    You are welcome America because I, Earl Pitts American take 100% credit for installing the new Speaker.
    Earl Pitts “Why Diddent Y’all Call On Me Sooner” American

    • rick whitaker

      October 25, 2023 at 9:19 pm


  • My Take

    October 25, 2023 at 2:54 pm

    Another Trumpsucking steal-the-election dreg.
    But maybe, just maybe, he’ll take the new job seriously.
    We’ll know if the sun comes up in the west tomorrow.

  • rick whitaker

    October 25, 2023 at 9:25 pm

    johnson is a trumper so now we have more trouble in the congress again. will what’s left of the gop ever learn. i heard rep. buck say several times he would NOT vote for an election denier, he did

Comments are closed.


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