The Phoenix Flyer

FL’s Byron Donalds votes for Kevin McCarthy for U.S. House Speaker after all

By: - January 6, 2023 1:15 pm

U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida. Credit: U.S. House of Representatives.

During a continued drama over who will be the next U.S. House Speaker in Congress, Florida’s Byron Donalds had catapulted to national prominence this week, as a nominee for the Speaker’s job. Several lawmakers, including himself, voted for Donalds over several days.

But by Friday afternoon, Donalds decided to vote for embattled GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, who had long been the front-runner but had not been able to garner all the votes needed to become the Speaker — 218 votes.

At around lunchtime Friday, it was Donalds’ turn to vote on the Speaker issue. He voted for McCarthy, and several GOP lawmakers clapped and cheered.

Donalds had been a part of a small group of conservative GOP House members steadfastly opposed to McCarthy’s becoming Speaker.

Donalds is one of only four Black Republicans serving in the 118th House of Representatives. Prior to winning his Congressional seats, Donalds had been one of the few Republican Black members in the Florida House of Representatives.

During the saga over the House Speaker issue this week, GOP lawmakers said Donalds would be the first Black U.S. House Speaker if he could garner the 218 votes. But that didn’t happen.

As it stands now, Donalds supports Kevin McCarthy for U.S. House Speaker.  But the drama continues this afternoon, because there still is no Speaker.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Diane Rado
Diane Rado

Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.