Byron Donalds Wins in GOP Primary for Open Southwest Florida Congressional Seat

State Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Naples, won the crowded Republican primary to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., on Tuesday.

With all votes in, Donalds had 22.6 percent of the Republican primary vote, giving him a narrow win over state House Majority Leader Dane Eagle, R-Cape Coral, who took 21.9 percent of the vote. Businessman Casey Askar garnered 20 percent followed by urologist Dr. William Figlesthaler with 18.4 percent of the vote.

The rest of the field pulled in the single digits. Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson took 7.6 percent followed by activist Christy McLaughlin at 4.1 percent, former Minnesota state Rep. Dan Severson at 3.1 percent, disabled rights activist Darren Aquino at 1.4 percent and Daniel Kowal who served in the Army and in law enforcement, at 1.1 percent.

Donalds will be a heavy favorite to win in this secure Republican seat. Educator and businesswoman Cindy Banyai won the Democratic nomination, taking 57.5 percent, beating out businessman David Holden who garnered 42.5 percent.


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