Trump Hints to Byron Donalds He’d Support Him in Run For Florida Governor


Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) has been rumored to be on Donald Trump’s vice president shortlist, but it appears the former president may have different political plans for one of his top young allies.

At a fundraising event in New York City, which Donalds trekked north to attend Tuesday, NBC News reported that Trump asked Donalds if he’s weighed running to be Florida’s governor in 2026 at the end of Ron DeSantis’ second term.

Donalds reportedly responded that people have urged him to make a run at Tallahassee. Trump then hinted at a potential endorsement should he opt to put his name forward, reportedly telling Donalds “he will have many friends in the race” if he does.

It’s the first suggestion that Donalds isn’t atop Trump’s list to join him on the GOP’s presidential ticket this fall, but it also shows there’s no question about Donalds’ place as a top ally of the former president.

That’s a spot in Trump’s inner circle that Donalds has fought hard to obtain. He backed Trump months before DeSantis—his own governor—crashed out of the presidential race in January, and he sat in a front-row pew in a New York City courthouse Tuesday during Trump’s hush-money trial.

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Others rumored to be on Trump’s VP shortlist include North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Vivek Ramaswamy, who also showed up in court Tuesday, as well as Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Tim Scott (R-SC).

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem was also once considered to have a chance at winning the veepstakes, but appears to have shot herself in the foot—and, sadly, also Cricket—with a recent autobiography where she lied about meeting North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and detailed killing a puppy for acting like a puppy.

As for who’s expected to succeed DeSantis in Florida, the list of potential gubernatorial candidates is equally crowded. In addition to Donalds showing interest, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is said to be mulling a run, and Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) has expressed interest publicly.

Wilton Simpson, Florida’s Republican agriculture commissioner and former Senate president, may also make a run at Tallahassee. He endorsed Trump just hours after DeSantis dropped out of the presidential race and has quietly ascended through the state’s Republican ranks since 2012.

Florida has taken a sharp right turn politically since the COVID-19 pandemic, turning a once key swing state into a deep-red haven that delivered a comfortable win for Trump in 2020 and DeSantis in 2022. Still, Democrats nearly won the governor’s seat in 2018, via Andrew Gillum, and Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) has hinted at challenging for the position.

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