(WASHINGTON) — Florida Republican Rep. Byron Donalds was nominated on Wednesday as the latest protest nominee from within the GOP as leader Kevin McCarthy continues to struggle to win a majority to be elected speaker.
Who is Donalds?
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, called Donalds a “dear friend, a solid conservative and, most importantly, a family man” as he nominated him for the top role.
Donalds’ campaign team has described him as a “a Trump supporting, liberty loving, pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment black man.”
Roy noted in his speech on Wednesday that, because Democrats have also put forth their leader, Hakeem Jeffries, “For the first time in history, there have been two Black Americans placed in nomination for speaker of the House.” That prompted a standing ovation from the chamber.
Donalds voted for McCarthy in the first two rounds of the speaker vote, on Tuesday, but on the third round switched his vote to Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, a McCarthy supporter, insisting that McCarthy failed to win the necessary support to move forward.
Since Donalds has been nominated — in the fifth round, Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., nominated him — he has voted for himself.
Donalds, like Jeffries, grew up in Brooklyn but went to college in Florida and built a career there in the financial and insurance industries, according to his House biography.
He was first elected to the House in 2020 after serving as a state representative and now represents Florida’s 19th Congressional District.
“I’m blessed and highly favored, honestly. Southwest Florida has always been great to me and I’m just glad to have the opportunity to represent them in Congress,” Donalds said after winning his race in 2020, saying then that his first priority was water quality.
He and his wife, Erika, have three sons: Damon, Darin and Mason.
ABC News’ Tal Axelrod and Benjamin Siegel contributed to this report.
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