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During Wednesday’s vote for US Speaker of the House, GOP members applauded when U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, Republican of Texas, paraphrased Martin Luther King, Jr. in invoking judgement of a person’s character over skin in offering the candidacy of Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla).
After quoting the most thoroughly regurgitated line of Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, Roy continued to compliment Donalds career and compassion, however, Donalds served as a mere prop for the proceeding.
Throughout Tuesday and Wednesday’s coverage, much has been made about the inability of embattled U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca.) to successfully garner the necessary 218 votes to win what was thought to be a walk in the park victory.
Instead, Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) has earned more votes during each of the five (and counting) House votes. Also standing in the way of McCarthy’s ascension to the throne is Donalds, whose 20 votes earned have clogged the artery of the entire House of Representatives.
Statistically improbable, Donalds seems to understand he won’t win the nomination, but he remains invested in its outcome for whichever GOP member may emerge victorious as a nominee and voter himself.
Byron Donalds on Tuesday became the first Republican to drop support for McCarthy—he voted for him on the first two ballots before switching to Jordan on the third ballot, tweeting that he backed away from McCarthy because the “reality is … McCarthy doesn’t have the votes.”
Donalds in 2020 became the third-ever Black Republican elected to Congress, winning a tight GOP primary for his Gulf Coast district after serving four years in the Florida legislature, according to Forbes.
This is the first time since 1923 it’s taken more than one ballot to elect a speaker and only the second time there’s been a protracted vote since before the start of the Civil War.
As McCarthy sees his influence slipping away and Donalds serves his role, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) is now being floated as a possibly viable House Speaker.
This story is developing.