Byron Donalds Launches Bid for Speaker, Florida GOP Reps. Rally
It is a free-for-all on Capitol Hill as the House enters its fourth week without an elected speaker. As many as ten Republicans are expected to run for the GOP nomination, setting the stage for a chaotic closed-door meeting on Monday. At least one of those Republicans will hail from Florida.
Southwest Florida Rep. Byron Donalds may only be serving his second term in Congress. Still, he plans to win this week’s Speaker election after winning some support from his Florida GOP colleagues.
“I am a candidate officially,” he confirmed Friday in an interview with Newsmax host Greg Kelly.
“We put out a notice on our X [account] … telling the American people and my colleagues that I’ve thrown my hat in the ring to run for speaker of the House. Let’s be very clear: our House right now, we’re having some issues.”
“We can repair those issues, but it requires us to be unified, No. 1, go back to business and secure our border, actually fund this government responsibly and then continue to lay out that conservative vision for the people who sent us here.”
“That job can still be done,” he continued. “I believe I am the leader that can get that job done. That’s why I threw my hat in the ring to run for speaker of the House.”
I am running to become the next Speaker of the House.
We need to:
🇺🇸 Secure our border
🇺🇸 Fund our government responsibly
🇺🇸 Advance our conservative agenda
🇺🇸 Expand our Republican majority
Let’s get to work! pic.twitter.com/a7jmeDYzvV
— Byron Donalds (@ByronDonalds) October 21, 2023
At least three members of the Florida Republican congressional delegation have thrown their support behind Donalds.
According to POLITICO, Rep. Vern Buchanan of Longboat Key has reportedly been working behind the scenes to win support for Donalds. Buchanan previously voted Donalds for Speaker twice on the House floor in protest of then-nominee Jim Jordan in the second and third ballots.
“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,” Buchanan said on Thursday. “It’s about time Florida had a seat at the table.”
Since Jordan’s removal as the nominee last Friday by an anonymous vote, two more Florida congressmen have rallied for Donalds–Cory Mills, who previously supported Jordan, and Mario Diaz-Balart, who voted for ex-Speaker Kevin McCarthy out of protest.
“[Byron Donalds] is an honorable leader and respected by the entire conference,” Diaz-Balart said on X. “That is why it is a privilege to endorse Byron for 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 @ByronDonalds for the next Speaker of the House 🇺🇸
— Cory Mills (@CoryMillsFL) October 20, 2023
. @ByronDonalds is an honorable leader and respected by the entire conference. That is why it is a privilege to endorse Byron for speaker.
— Mario Diaz-Balart (@MarioDB) October 20, 2023
“It’s really about what do they want to see happen going forward with the House of Representatives,” Donalds said on Newsmax. “I believe we have to have a process going forward where every member has a seat at the table.
“In terms of my opponents, my colleagues here on Capitol Hill, I’m not going to talk bad about them because we actually agree on the very policies that we want to see happen, but it’s really a matter of choice of who the conference believes is the best person to lead us forward.”
The GOP conference plans to hold a candidate forum on Monday, followed by a formal vote for the nominee on Tuesday. Donalds intends to “talk about my ideas and my vision and how I think we can actually have a true game plan to achieve them.”
“But at the end of the day, I think where we are right now, as a Republican conference, whoever wins this race, we must all come together, support that person, get the majority working again so we can secure the borders of this nation,” he added. “We are the only entity up here on Capitol Hill that’s going to lead. It’s not going to be the Senate, and we know it’s not coming from the White House.”
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