Self-described 'political unknown' Donalds seeks Mack's U.S. Rep. seat

Candidate Byron Donalds

Photo by LANCE SHEARER

Candidate Byron Donalds

— Naples resident and self-described "political unknown" Byron Donalds has announced his bid for the congressional seat representing much of Southwest Florida, saying members of the community asked him to run.

At 33 years old, the investment portfolio manager for CMG Surety LLC said his political inexperience and his youth don't put him at a disadvantage in the race for U.S. Rep. Connie Mack's seat. Mack is seeking a U.S. Senate seat.

"If age and experience were necessary factors, our government would be running full steam ahead and we'd love Congress," the Republican Donalds said. "Age and political experience have been a detriment to us. I'm a regular citizen. I go to work."

Having a clear vision and being able to communicate that vision to voters is what Americans are looking for in congress, Donalds said.

In a seven-page vision statement, Donalds lays out his plans for reeling in wasteful spending, becoming energy independent, implementing the Fair Tax, returning leadership of public schools to educators at the state and local levels, and presenting a counter vision to President Barack Obama's goals for the nation.

"I tell people, if you always do what you've always done, you will always be where you've always been," Donalds said.

As a member of the Naples Tea Party Leadership Council for two years, Donalds campaigned for Herman Cain in his run for the Republican presidential nomination.

"My vision for America is fairly simple," Donalds said. "We have to be committed to preserving America for the next 100 years."

The Brooklyn native also serves as a youth leader in his church, coaches youth baseball with his son, and serves as chairman of the board for Child Evangelism Fellowship of Collier County, among other activities.

The successful candidate for the seat that represents much of Collier and Lee counties must be a community leader, with clear and simple ideas and someone who is able to rally voters behind a common vision, Donalds said.

"The American people have to be sovereign," he said. "Right now, that's not the case. The federal government is in charge. They dictate a lot of things. We have to reverse that relationship."

Donalds has three sons, ages 8, 4, and 11 months. He and his wife, Erika, have lived in Naples for nine years.

According to the state elections website, the current candidates for the seat are Republicans Donalds, Gary Aubuchon, Joseph Asher Davidow, Chauncey Porter Goss II, Paige Vanier Kreegel, Brian Owens, Trey Radel, Timothy John Rossano, Christopher Key Sandy, John W. Sawyer III and Lee James Titchworth, Democrat James Lloyd Roach and no-party affiliated candidates Thomas E. Scherer and Brandon Matthew Smith. Lee County Commissioner Tammy Hall had announced, but withdrew.

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 22

greathornedlizard writes:

This guy claims to be a tea partier, that makes him a bum.
vote for the Democrat Roach.

Denise34102 writes:

Byron is young and like other young people he was caught up in the Obama hype. He admits to voting for Obama. Sorry. No vote from me.

5thavenuesunshine writes:

I thought he announced in February. Not exactly sure why NDN decided to do a story in May that basically provides his bio. WBBH ran a story on Friday detailing that there were 7 candidates for this seat at a forum on Friday morning in Naples. Can we see the same sort of "story" on the other six please?

sricci453 writes:

I"m behind him 100%.

LGoldstein writes:

If, Mr. Donalds lives in Florida I will seriously consider voting for him.

nightranger writes:

I am heavily involved in Republican circles in Collier County and this gentlemen is the real deal. He gets my vote without a doubt. He is already on the ballot ( having gotten over 3,000 signatures) and in the three debates I have seen him in he blew everyone away. Wasn't even close. Byron should be our next U.S. Congressman. No doubt about it.

John_Galt writes:

NDN: Don't forget about other races - State Rep for example. You can talk about the Libertarian running, Peter Richter, and the RINO passidomo. You might want to expose her horrible voting record.

http://www.electRichter.com

http://www.passidomo.com

bnovark writes:

I've known Byron Donalds for over a year. He is a principled man of honor & integrity. As someone above said--"he is the real deal." He would be a fine representative for SW FL.

reddragon writes:

in response to nightranger:

I am heavily involved in Republican circles in Collier County and this gentlemen is the real deal. He gets my vote without a doubt. He is already on the ballot ( having gotten over 3,000 signatures) and in the three debates I have seen him in he blew everyone away. Wasn't even close. Byron should be our next U.S. Congressman. No doubt about it.

Yes he is very well spoken will have a touph time August is fast approching doesn,t have a name and needs money. Too Bad he would be good.

volochine writes:

A link in the article to Mr. Donalds 7-page vision statement would of been helpful.

The comments "republican party" and "supporting the fair tax" raise eyebrows on this former republican. I find it wierd that todays republican would support a fair tax system.

I look forward to NDN's overview of each of the candidates in the coming weeks.

Or do they have to pay for the article with in-kind advertising?

Just1 writes:

Strong candidate, knows the facts and is a great speaker. That says more than most of the others.

ex31539er writes:

in response to volochine:

A link in the article to Mr. Donalds 7-page vision statement would of been helpful.

The comments "republican party" and "supporting the fair tax" raise eyebrows on this former republican. I find it wierd that todays republican would support a fair tax system.

I look forward to NDN's overview of each of the candidates in the coming weeks.

Or do they have to pay for the article with in-kind advertising?

Here's a link to Mr. Donalds's website: http://www.byrondonalds.com/index.html

This is the first I've heard of Mr. Donalds, but I must say I like what I see.

donkeydrone writes:

in response to greathornedlizard:

This guy claims to be a tea partier, that makes him a bum.
vote for the Democrat Roach.

Typical racist democrat comment.

Bunk writes:

anyone but the incumbant

Cherieo3 writes:

in response to donkeydrone:

Typical racist democrat comment.

So typical...when they can't think of anything productive...throw out slurs!

donkeydrone writes:

Just repeating the typical liberal rant, how's it feel??

imaneapolitan writes:

We would be well represented if Byron Donalds won the congressional seat. We have known him and his family for many years. He is very intelligent, an excellent communicator, and a committed family man with strong moral beliefs. He is very passionate about helping to strengthen our families, communities, schools, businesses and our country. We will certainly be voting for him.

greathornedlizard writes:

in response to John_Galt:

NDN: Don't forget about other races - State Rep for example. You can talk about the Libertarian running, Peter Richter, and the RINO passidomo. You might want to expose her horrible voting record.

http://www.electRichter.com

http://www.passidomo.com

I love that you want to get rid of the despicable Ms. Passidomo but your guy Richter will goose step with the Republicans, same as Passidomo.

What is wrong with the Collier Democrats? Have they managed to field a single candidate for this seat in the last 20 years?

taxed_to_the_max writes:

i have never heard of him and he mentioned fair tax. i like those two things about a candidate. just get rid of mack, please.

Victoria347 writes:

Good speaker except he admitted to voting for Obama. That's not good. I don't believe that just because he's young he should get away with that. Obama talked about radical transformation. Donalds is like a politician too. Changing every day.

bdonalds writes:

in response to Victoria347:

Good speaker except he admitted to voting for Obama. That's not good. I don't believe that just because he's young he should get away with that. Obama talked about radical transformation. Donalds is like a politician too. Changing every day.

Victoria347,

So the record is clear, I did not vote for Obama in 2008. I actually was writing and calling family and friends to convince them not vote for him.

I'd like the opportunity to earn your vote on August 14th. Please visit my website www.byrondonalds.com to learn more about my vision and my candidacy.
Byron Donalds

estateslady11 writes:

Voting for Obama and Admitting voting for Obama, show a real lack of conservative integrity.
Voters remorse does not make a good Congressman.
We already have someone up in Washington thats a good speaker, look what that's gotten us.

We had four years to check Obama out before the Election, he spoke at the 2004 Democratic Convention. It was clear he was the chosen one, being groomed. Do we need another groomed speaker in Washington?

I'm checking out the other candidates.

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