In addition to being on former President Donald Trump’s 2024 campaign trail, Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) has also been on some early vice presidential short lists, should Trump win the Republican nominee.
Donalds, 44, told Breitbart News that if Trump were to offer him the position, he would “of course” accept it.
“If it came up? Oh yeah, of course, because you have the opportunity to do really powerful things for the country and really help shape the country,” Donalds said. “But I’m a member of Congress. I just do my job. I let everybody else speculate on the other stuff.”
Donalds, one of five black Republicans in Congress, was reared by a single mother in the inner borough of Brooklyn and is now seen as a rising star within his party.
The Florida Republican is a member of the Financial Services Committee due to his extensive financial and banking experience, and he has participated in the Oversight Committee’s most well-known investigation of the Biden family’s economic practices.
In May, Donalds appeared on a CNN panel after Trump’s heated town hall with the outlet, delivering what appeared to be his party’s de facto response to the ordeal. Donalds said moderator Kaitlan Collins spent “more time interjecting her own viewpoints” during the event. Upon being interrupted, Donalds fired back, “Are you guys now going to interject your opinions on me or do I get a chance?”
Later that month Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) wrote on social media, “Retweet this if you think my friend [Byron Donalds] would make a great choice for Vice President.”
After Trump’s contentious town hall with the network in May, Donalds came on a CNN panel and gave what seemed to be his party’s de facto response to the situation. Donalds claimed that the moderator Kaitlan Collins spent “more time interjecting her own viewpoints” during the discussion. When he was interrupted, Donalds retaliated by asking, “Are you guys now going to interject your opinions on me or do I get a chance?”
Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) posted a message on social media later that month asking followers to “Retweet this if you think my friend [Byron Donalds] would make a great choice for Vice President.”
— Tim Burchett (@timburchett) May 24, 2023
The Daily Beast, which at the time noted Donalds’ developing vice presidential potential, was informed by Burchett that the tweet’s inspiration came from “the heart.”
In January, when approximately 20 members challenged then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) bid for the position, Donalds, who is finishing his second term in office, also emerged as the alternate candidate.
Trump supporter and Florida colleague Rep. Cory Mills (R-FL) remarked of Donalds, “I can tell you that he’s probably one of the more competent members that you’ll find throughout all of Congress.”
According to Mills, Donalds would “be someone who would really be a nice balance for President Trump,” according to Breitbart News.
His colleague Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL), said in a statement, “We will definitely see him as a candidate for something bigger in the future. He has a heart for service. He is the future of the party.”
The vocal member and friend of Donalds, Cammack, remarked in joke that the “hottest rising star” is actually “from FL-03.”
Donalds recently made an appearance in Philadelphia alongside Trump, who continues to lead the GOP primary field by a huge majority in almost all polls.
— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) July 1, 2023
A thick crowd of fans was present when the couple were seen ordering at a cheesesteak restaurant; this is a common setting for the former president, whose specialty is retail politics. In April, Donalds and Trump made an appearance in Fort Myers, when the former president treated everyone to pizza. Donalds is a state representative for a region of southwest Florida.
“That stuff is cool. I’m not going to lie. … But listen, I’m about winning. I told the president, I told his team, ‘I’m behind you a hundred percent. It’s time to go win, and whatever it takes, I’m gonna go win,’” Donalds said.
Prior to the trip to Fort Myers, Donalds garnered media attention by endorsing Trump over Gov. Ron DeSantis, a fellow Floridian and friend who continues to trail Trump in the polls and has thus far failed to seriously challenge Trump’s chances.
The announcement helped the Trump campaign at the time and severely damaged DeSantis’ hopes of receiving widespread backing among the congressional delegation in his home district.
As Trump maintains his lead in the primary field, rumors about his potential vice presidential picks have started to circulate. Among these are claims that he is considering female candidates who might resonate with female voters, like Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), former gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, or former Gov. Nikki Haley.
Although there are still many candidates to choose from and the primary is still in its early stages, Trump has been keeping an eye on Donald since his first primary victory in August 2020.
“The President congratulated me on a tough victory, but a good victory,” Donalds said at the time, according to Florida Politics. “He said he has heard good things about me, and he said ‘From what I see you are going to be a star.’”