Could Jordan Failing to Capture Speakership for a Second Time Open the Door for Donalds?

Could Jordan Failing to Capture Speakership for a Second Time Open the Door for Donalds?

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
October 19, 2023

The second vote to elect a new Speaker of the House saw Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) fall short yet again. Not only did he fail to get elected, but he lost net support in the process. Rep. Jordan will try again on Thursday at noon, but if not him, who shall Republicans turn to? Could a Floridian like Representative Byron Donalds (R-FL) throw his hat into the ring?

Notable votes against Rep. Jordan came from representatives who either do not like the Ohio congressman or feel the process that led to former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) ouster is flawed.

Representative Carlos Gimenez (R-FL) maintained that he is “OK. Only Kevin,” as it appears that he will continue to vote for Rep. McCarthy until a Speaker is elected.

On Tuesday, Rep. Jordan received 200 votes from Republicans while all 212 Democrats unified around House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).

Following the Tuesday vote, there was a possibility – and perhaps wishful thinking for Jordan Republicans – that the 20 GOP members who voted against Jordan in the first tally were simply voicing their frustration about the process or of Jordan himself and could change their vote in the second tally.

However, that did not come to fruition.

Perhaps the most notable votes of the Wednesday tally came from four Republicans who switched their votes from Jordan to someone else.

Representatives Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) voted for Representative Kay Granger (R-TX), Pete Stauber (R-MN) voted for Representative Bruce Westerman (R-AR), and Drew Ferguson (R-GA) voted for Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA).

The highlight of the four Republicans who switched their vote was Florida Rep. Vern Buchanan, who voted for Representative Byron Donalds (R-FL).

Why is this important?

First, Rep. Donalds was nominated for the Speakership in several rounds of voting in January during Representative Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) eventual election process. He received 20 votes in multiple instances from the Freedom Caucus, which includes names such as Representatives Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Chip Roy (R-TX), and the like.

Second, when it came to supporting Jim Jordan, Rep. Buchanan was originally on the fence.

Most importantly, Rep. Donalds has told The Floridian that he has expressed interest in running for the Speakership position should Jordan continue to fail to meet the majority threshold needed to win.

At this point, why not?

The sample size may be too small, but if Donalds is a candidate who can receive support from a congressman like Buchanan (who was at first hesitant to support Jordan) while also capable of capturing the votes of the Freedom Caucus, then why wouldn’t the Republican Conference unite around him?

Would the Florida representatives who refuse to vote for Jordan (Gimenez, Diaz-Balart, Rutherford) give the nod to the sophomore congressman? It’s a possibility.

Despite only being in his second term in the People’s House, Donalds’ name has floated around on Vice President shortlists for former President Donald Trump (R). He might be new to Congress by Congress’ standards, but he certainly has made a name for himself already.

As of now, however, Jordan will try again for a third time on Thursday at noon.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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