- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Rep. Byron Donalds on Wednesday justified his decision to switch his House speaker vote from Kevin McCarthy by saying the GOP leader’s chances have diminished.

Mr. Donalds, Florida Republican, said it’s clear that Mr. McCarthy currently has no pathway to the speakership. He surprised his colleagues Tuesday by casting his vote in the third round of balloting for Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican.

“My vote yesterday was basically to break a deadlock, because we were deadlocked, and we were not getting anywhere,” Mr. Donalds told CNN. “Right now, [Mr. McCarthy] doesn’t have a pathway to get there. If that reemerges, yeah, I can be there, that’s fine, but what’s necessary now is that Republicans come together and find a way to elect a speaker.”

Mr. Donalds also took issue with his conference engaging in a “vote-a-rama” Tuesday that led to three ballots for speaker without anyone receiving the required 218 votes.

“I didn’t think that was in the best interest of the Republican conference or for the House overall,” he said.

Mr. Donalds is one of 20 House Republicans who have backed Mr. Jordan for speaker.

SEE ALSO: Infighting over speaker’s gavel cripples House GOP’s first day in the majority

Mr. Jordan, who backs Mr. McCarthy, has expressed no interest in the role of speaker. He nominated Mr. McCarthy for the second ballot.

Members will continue ballots for the speaker post on Wednesday.

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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