Byron Donalds joined by family for congressional swearing-in ceremony

Republican Byron Donalds will represent Florida’s 19th District, which includes Fort Myers, Naples…

Byron Donalds joined by family for congressional swearing-in ceremony

The News-Press Staff
 |  Fort Myers News-Press

Byron Donalds joined by family for congressional swearing-in ceremony 1

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Byron Donalds: Candidate for Florida Congressional District 19

Byron Donalds: Candidate for Florida Congressional District 19

Andrea Melendez, Fort Myers News-Press

Byron Donalds, Southwest Florida’s first African-American  Congressman, took the oath of office last week with his family by his side.

Republican Donalds will represent Florida’s 19th District, which includes Fort Myers, Naples, and Marco Island in the 117th United States Congress.

‘Blessed and highly favored’:  Byron Donalds wins election for U.S. Congressional District 19, pledges water quality No. 1 priority

“It’s my distinct honor to represent the people of my beloved community as the newly sworn-in Congressman from Florida’s 19th Congressional District,” Donalds said in a statement. “The people of Southwest Florida are long overdue for a representative in Washington who not only shares their conservative values but fights for those values in Congress.”

After a close win in August’s primary, Donalds ran against Fort Myers Democrat Cindy Banyai for retiring Naples Republican Francis Rooney’s seat. Donalds decisively defeated Banyai with 271,296 votes, or 61.3%, compared with her 171,420 votes, or 38.7%.

The victory made the former two-term state representative who chaired the Florida’s House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee Florida’s third Black Republican to take a U.S. House seat, and one of two currently serving in Congress.

Warmly endorsed by President Donald Trump, the Brooklyn-born son of a single mother championed education reform, criminal justice reform and protecting Second Amendment rights. He’s positioned himself as a member of the “Freedom Force,” a group of other House GOP freshman as a conservative counter to “The Squad” and its progressive members.

“In what other country can a boy raised by a single mother in Brooklyn, NY raised on food stamps, rise up from poverty to become a United States Congressman?” Donalds asked.

Analysis: Donalds, Banyai prevailed in Southwest Florida congressional primaries despite being outspent

“I’m extremely proud to be an American. This country has provided me with so much, and it is because of the freedoms granted to me and millions of other Americans.

“As a member of the Freedom Force, I plan on doing everything I can to protect those freedoms in order for future generations to thrive and succeed.”

U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds’ legislative priorities

Donalds said his legislative priorities are:

  • Term Limits
  • Working with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and congressional colleagues to continue efforts to restore the Everglades and Florida’s environment
  • Federal budget reform
  • Expanding school choice programs
  • Criminal justice reform

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