Byron Donalds Lines Up FL Support Before Speaker Nominee Vote

Florida Congressman Byron Donalds will vie against seven other Republicans on Tuesday in hopes of becoming the latest nominee for Speaker of the House. While it is still uncertain how the Naples Republican will measure up to his competition, Donalds has quickly built momentum since announcing his bid on Friday. He will enter the closed-door vote with many Florida endorsements to vouch for him.

By Saturday, Donalds had earned the endorsements of Florida U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan, Cory Mills, and Mario Díaz-Balart. He has added to his list of endorsements in the days since, receiving support from Florida colleagues Kat Cammack, Carlos Gimenez, Scott Franklin, and Michael Waltz. Matt Gaetz has not directly endorsed Donalds for Speaker but hinted at his support over the weekend.

Franklin and Cammack are the latest to rally behind Donalds, announcing their support on the social media platform X.

I am supporting my friend from Florida, [Byron Donalds], for Speaker,” Franklin said in a post. “He understands the issues facing our state and can unite our party to get Congress back to work.”

Cammack, first elected to the House in 2020 alongside Donalds, said it was an “honor” to support his candidacy.

“Since his election to Congress, Byron has been a true conservative champion for the Sunshine State and the nation. 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.”

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Despite his membership in the House Freedom Caucus, Donalds has gained support across Florida’s House GOP delegation, including two members who until now have vocally supported Ex-Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

On Sunday, Gimenez announced he would be backing Donalds for Speaker after previously voting against Jim Jordan in all three floor votes. Gimenez instead had supported reinstating McCarthy to the gavel. On X, he wrote,

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

Díaz-Balart, the dean of Florida’s GOP delegation, had also expressed frustration over the ousting of McCarthy and chose to vote against Jordan. Díaz-Balart instead had offered his support to Steve Scalise. On Friday, he was one of the first to support Donalds, writing on X,

“[Byron Donalds] is an honorable leader and respected by the entire conference. That is why it is a privilege to endorse Byron for speaker.”

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The internal House GOP vote to choose the next Speaker nominee is scheduled at 9:00 a.m. House Majority Whip Tom Emmer of Minnesota is considered a top contender for the position. He reportedly spoke to Donald Trump over the phone over the weekend, but the former President has declined to endorse any candidate.

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