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House Speaker Vote: Matt Gaetz Nominates Trump, Byron Donalds Earns 19 Votes

When asked if he was concerned about blowback for opposing GOP frontrunner Kevin McCarthy, Donalds responded: “I’m 6’2", 275, I’m not worried about that.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sunshine State politicians have dominated national headlines this week amid conservative opposition to Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

On Thursday, Matt Gaetz (R-FL) Gaetz nominated former President Donald Trump for House Speaker.

Meanwhile, Byron Donalds (R-FL) earned 19 votes from his fellow GOP dissenters who are standing in opposition to McCarthy, whom they consider to be an “establishment” candidate. Donalds, a second-term Republican who lives in Naples and serves District 19, describes himself as “Liberty-loving. Pro-Trump. Pro-2nd Amendment. Pro-life” in his Twitter bio.


Gaetz’s shocking nomination came two days after the Florida Congressman nominated Jim Jordan (R-OH) for House Speaker.

“Maybe the right speaker of the House isn’t someone who wants it so bad,” Gaetz said during his remarks in the House Chamber.

“If you want to drain the swamp, you cannot put the biggest alligator in charge of the exercise,” Gaetz later told reporters. “It is true that we struggle with trust with Mr. McCarthy.”

A Twitter poll from country music star John Rich on Tuesday afternoon showed over 92 percent of the 96,705 respondents voted for Jordan over McCarthy.

Bob Good (R-VA) tweeted: “If McCarthy had fought as hard for the American people over the last two years as he has for the speakership, we would be having a very different discussion right now.”


After Jordan told reporters there was no chance he would become speaker, Donalds became the choice candidate for McCarthy’s critics.

Chip Roy (R-TX) nominated Donalds for House Speaker on Wednesday.

“There is an important reason for nominating Byron, and that is this country needs a change. This country needs leadership that does not reflect this city, this town that is badly broken,” Roy said. “Byron Donalds is a good man raised by a single mom who moved past adversity, became a Christian man at the age of 21 and has devoted his life to advancing the cause for his family and his country and he has done it admirably.”

Former U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn told his 520,000 Twitter followers: “I know @ByronDonalds to be the most honorable, capable, and talented man I've ever had the pleasure of knowing in my 27 years. Byron for speaker.”

Jack Brewer, who leads the U.S. Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys, tweeted: “If Jordan is out, @ByronDonalds is clearly the most qualified, charismatic & articulate @HouseGOP member for the Speaker position. Would be amazing to see the @GOP support our most talented leaders. These kiss the ring of the establishment days need to come to an end in America.”


When a reporter asked on Wednesday if he was concerned about “retribution,” Donalds replied responded: “Man, I'm 6'2", 275, I'm not worried about that.”

Donalds employed more political rhetoric when speaking with Fox News on Wednesday afternoon.

“I think it’s important for the American people to understand that unlike the Democrats, who just do leadership by acclamation, we are actually having a deliberative process about what leadership looks like in the House of Representatives,” he said. “We know Washington does not work so having that deliberative discussion, which in some parts is messy at times, is in the long term in the best interest of America.”