Florida Republican Byron Donalds switched Speaker vote from McCarthy to Jordan

 January 4, 2023

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA) presumably believed like many others that he was a shoo-in for taking over the speaker's gavel for the new session of Congress. 

But according to Fox News, that prediction ended up being far from reality.

Becoming the first candidate not to take the gavel on the first vote in 100 years, McCarthy saw a number of Republican detractors, including a surprise defection by Florida Rep. Byron Donalds, who switched his vote on Tuesday from McCarthy to protest candidate Rep. Jim Jordan (R-IN).

Donalds' vote switch was one of many dramatic twists and turns in the House this week.

What happened?

McCarthy had Donalds' support for the first couple rounds of voting, even though McCarthy couldn't muster the support needed to win.

Fox News noted: "Some rebel Republicans had cast votes for Reps.-elect Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., Jordan, Jim Banks, Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., and Donalds himself in the first round. Jordan secured all non-McCarthy GOP votes in the second and third rounds. Democrats, meanwhile, have remained united around Rep.-elect Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y."

On the third vote this week, Donald decided to switch to Jordan, which upped the number of Republicans voting for someone other than McCarthy to 20.

Ironically, Jordan had said he fully supported McCarthy.

What's the latest

With no speaker chosen, Wednesday saw another round of ballot voting, and McCarthy lost every single one of them, prompting great backlash within the party and taunting from the other side of the political aisle.

McCarthy has vowed to stay in the fight, fully convinced that he'll be able to round up just enough support to end the ongoing charade. Though many of his detractors do not believe he'll be able to close the deal, even with intense dealmaking likely happening in backrooms on Capitol Hill at this very moment.

Tucker Carlson dedicated his Wednesday night show to going through what's happening, pointing out that Democrats seem to be taking full advantage of the somewhat embarrassing situation Republicans find themselves in.

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