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Speaker Race: Byron Donalds In After Jordan Bows Out

Our early choice for Speaker, conservative rock star Rep. Byron Donalds (FL-19), has announced he is officially in the running for the vacant post after Freedom Caucus founder Rep. Jim Jordan failed to gain the requisite 217 votes after three ballots.

Announcing on X Friday night, the Naples, Florida Republican wrote he hopes to "become the first African American Speaker, the first Speaker from the great state of Florida, and the next Speaker of the 118th Congress," focusing on "securing our border, funding our government responsibly, advancing a conservative vision for the House of Representatives and the American people, and expanding our Republican majority," reported Amy Bennett Williams of the Fort Myers (Florida) News-Press.

Donalds received one vote in the first round in the election to succeed former Speaker Kevin McCarthy and once his name appeared again, supporters exulted, reported Ms. Bennett Williams. He quickly drew the backing of fellow Florida Republicans Cory Mills of Winter Haven, Vern Buchanan of Sarasota and Mario Diaz-Balart of Hialeah. "I supported Jim Jordan for our next Speaker," Mills wrote on X Friday afternoon. "Unfortunately, my votes for him on the floor and in conference to remain Speaker designate was not enough. I now support Byron Donalds."

Donalds’s strength across the ideological spectrum of the House GOP was quickly apparent in the support he garnered from Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Hialeah, a moderate opponent of Rep. Jordan’s election, and conservative Rep. Cory Mills, a conservative Jordan supporter.

“Byron Donalds seems to be one of the best to be positioned as a consensus pick for Speaker,” Christian Ziegler, Republican Party of Florida Chair, posted on X. “There are many reasons for this, so hopefully he will run for it. Let’s give the people a Conservative they will be happy with vs. an unknown/boring pick for D.C.-insider reasons,” reported Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics.

Donalds, self-described "Trump-supporting, liberty-loving, pro-life, pro-Second Amendment Black man" has a reputation for building coalitions within the fractious House GOP Conference and is a fixture on FOX News and other conservative media outlets.

As we explained in our October 5 article, How About Rep. Byron Donalds For Speaker, if you want change then you need someone who is not part of DC’s Conservatism, Inc. and who has not already made accommodations with the Swamp. And Byron Donalds fills that bill in a way none of the other names being floated do.

Rep. Chip Roy once described Byron Donalds this way, “We do not seek to judge people by the color of their skin, but rather the content of their character… Byron Donalds is a good man, raised by a single mom, moved past diversity, became a Christian man at the age of 21, and has devoted his life to advancing the cause for his family and this country. And he has done it admirably.”

Rep. Byron Donalds is not part of the Swamp, as is GOP Whip Tom Emmer, and he’s never made compromises with the Swamp, as have some of the other candidates, otherwise good men that they are.

The U.S. House of Representatives runs on Mafia Rules – if you kill the Don, you can’t be the Don. To find a candidate that can get 217 votes, Republicans are going to have to choose among those who did not vote in favor of vacating the Chair to remove former Speaker Kevin McCarthy. To our way of thinking Rep. Byron Donalds is the only real change agent among those whose name has been floated and he’s the right person to unify the fractious GOP Conference behind a “keep our promises” agenda.

  • Government Shutdown

  • Limits on abortion

  • Dobbs decision

  • 2024 election

  • Kevin McCarthy

  • Steve Scalise

  • Jim Jordan

  • vacate the chair

  • Candidate switches

  • lawfare

  • Matt Gaetz

  • Congressional leadership

  • Freedom Caucus

  • Byron Donalds

  • Donald Trump endorses Jim Jordan

  • abortion

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